Bocavirus in hospitalised children in Italy

Abstract number: P1606

Pierangeli A., Scagnolari C., Trombetti S., Grossi R., Battaglia M., Midulla F., Antonelli G.

Objectives: Human bocavirus (HBoV), a novel respiratory agent identified in 2005, is now detected worldwide in paediatric as well as adult populations. However, in the absence of viral isolation and serological evidences and due to high percentages of co-infection with other respiratory viruses, its actual role in respiratory diseases is not yet clearly defined.

A molecular approach was undertaken to detect HBoV and nearly all known respiratory viruses, in archival and freshly collected respiratory samples from hospitalised children. In addition, HBoV was investigated in sera and convalescent samples from hospitalised children and in nasal washings from children affected by non-respiratory condition.

Methods: During November 2004 to May 2007, nasal washings from 415 children hospitalised with acute respiratory infection (ARI) and from 21 children hospitalised for non-respiratory illness were tested for the presence of an extensive range of respiratory viruses with molecular methods. Reverse transcription-PCR or PCR assays, followed by sequencing of the amplified fragments were undertaken to detect fourteen respiratory viruses: influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), coronavirus OC43 and 229E, adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza viruses 1–3, human metapneumovirus, coronavirus NL63 and HKU1, HBoV. HBoV positive samples were subjected to Real Time PCR determination of HBoV specific viral load in nasal washings.

Results: Viral pathogens were detected in 214/415 cases (51.6%): RSV and rhinovirus positive samples were respectively 29.2% and 9.6% of cases. HBoV was the third most frequent agent (8.2%); 21/34 cases (61.8%) were in co-infection with another virus, mainly RSV. Children with HBoV as the sole pathogen presented pneumonia or bronchiolitis. Coinfection HBoV-RSV does not seem to worsen bronchiolitis (gravity score calculated as reported in Wainwright et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 2003). HBoV DNA copies in nasal washings were measured to correlate viral load with disease severity.

Interestingly, two children hospitalised for non-respiratory illness have been found positive to HBoV: one had gastro enteric symptoms and the other a clinical diagnosis of exanthema subitum.

Conclusion: This study is a confirming report of HBoV as a frequently detected respiratory agent and of its association with clinically important illnesses. HBoV high prevalence in young children does not seem to be due to persistence in individuals, but to its great circulation.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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