Although recent studies have identified new group C human rhinoviruses (HRVCs), their spectrum of pediatric disease is unknown.
We sought to determine the presentation and burden of disease caused by HRVCs among young hospitalized children.
We conducted prospective population-based surveillance in 2 US counties among children less than 5 years of age hospitalized with acute respiratory illness or fever from October 2001 through September 2003. Nasal/throat swabs were obtained and tested for HRVs, as determined by means of RT-PCR and then characterized by means of partial sequencing.
Of 1052 children enrolled and tested during the 2-year period, 167 (16%) had HRVs detected. Of 147 samples successfully sequenced, 64 were group A HRVs, 6 were group B HRVs, and 77 were HRVCs. Children with HRVCs were significantly more likely than those with group A HRVs to have underlying high-risk conditions, such as asthma (42% vs 23%, P = .023) and to have had a discharge diagnosis of asthma (55% vs 36%, P = .022).