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Recently identified viruses contribute significantly to acute respiratory infections in children

Abstract number: 1732_323

Antonelli G., Pierangeli A., Scagnolari C., Trombetti S., Di Marco P., Midulla F., Moretti C.

Objectives: More than half of all episodes of acute respiratory infection (ARI) have none of the pathogen identified in paediatric as well as adult populations. It is likely that the prevalence of viral infection is underestimated because of the large number of respiratory viruses involved in respiratory tract infection. A number of novel respiratory pathogens had been identified since 2001, i.e. human metapneumovirus (hMPV), coronaviruses NL63 and HKU1, human bocavirus (hBoV); they are not currently diagnosed but could contribute significantly to the burden of ARI. A molecular approach was undertaken to detect nearly all respiratory viruses, including hMPV, NL63, HKU1 and hBoV in hospitalised children suffering from acute respiratory tract infection.

Methods: Most respiratory viruses were detected prospectively in nasal washes from children hospitalised for ARI in a paediatric department at the University ``La Sapienza'' hospital of Rome. HKU1 and bocavirus were searched for retrospectively, on frozen aliquots of samples. Reverse transcription-PCR assays followed by sequencing of the amplified fragments were undertaken to detect fourteen respiratory viruses: influenza A and B, RSV, hCoV OC43 and 229E, adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza viruses 1–3, hMPV, NL63, HKU1 and hBoV.

Results: In 103/227 children (45.4%), at least one viral pathogen was identified; 86/227 (37.9%) had an infection with one of the virus investigated; 17/227 (7.5%) had a dual infection, with a total of 120 viruses identified. The most common agent was RSV, followed by rhinovirus and parainfluenza virus 3. Overall, hMPV infections represented about 8% of all viral illness. One NL63 case was detected; no positive to HKU1 was found. Bocaviruses were detected in 12 cases (11% of all virus positive cases), half of which in co-infections. Almost all patients who had hBoV as the sole pathogen had pneumonia; in addition, it was detected in one children hospitalised for bronchiolitis.

Conclusions: Detection of the recently characterised metapneumovirus, coronaviruses NL63 and HKU1, and bocavirus contributed a significant proportion (17.5%) of all positive samples.

This study is a confirming report of NL63 and hBoV circulation in Italy, reported in late 2006. Interestingly, bocavirus was a frequently detected respiratory agent and was associated with clinically important illnesses.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Subject:
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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