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      Viral etiology of acute lower respiratory tract infections in hospitalized young children in Northern Taiwan


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          Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) comprise a great proportion of diagnoses among hospitalized children. This study identifies the viral pathogens causing LRTIs in young children and compares their clinical features and disease severity.


          Children younger than 36 months old, hospitalized at a medical center in Northern Taiwan with acute bronchiolitis or pneumonia from April to December 2007, were prospectively enrolled. Nasopharyngeal aspiration fluid samples were sent for virus culture, for direct immunofluorescence test of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), for rapid influenza viral identification, and for polymerase chain reaction of human metapneumovirus (hMPV), human boca virus (hBoV), and human corona virus. The clinical features and laboratory findings were recorded and analyzed.


          A total of 48 children were enrolled. RSV was the most common pathogen (41.7%), followed by hMPV (27.1%), hBoV, and enterovirus (both 6.3%). There were no significant differences in clinical presentation and disease severity between the RSV and hMPV groups. However, the hMPV group had a higher mixed infection rate ( p = 0.038). Fourteen children had no identifiable viruses. Children with single, dual, and triple pathogens numbered 26, 7, and 1, respectively. The mixed infection rate reached 23.5% among 34 children with identifiable viruses. Children with a higher severity score had greater chance to develop asthma in the next 2 years ( p = 0.042).


          RSV is the most common pathogen causing LRTIs in young children, followed by hMPV. The hMPV group had higher mixed infection rate than RSV group. hBoV does circulate in northern Taiwan.

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          Most cited references30

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          Human metapneumovirus and lower respiratory tract disease in otherwise healthy infants and children.

          We sought to determine the role of human metapneumovirus in lower respiratory tract illness in previously healthy infants and children. We tested nasal-wash specimens, obtained over a 25-year period from otherwise healthy children presenting with acute respiratory tract illness, for human metapneumovirus. A viral cause other than human metapneumovirus was determined for 279 of 687 visits for acute lower respiratory tract illness (41 percent) by 463 children in a population of 2009 infants and children prospectively seen from 1976 to 2001. There were 408 visits for lower respiratory tract illness by 321 children for which no cause was identified. Of these 321 children, specimens from 248 were available. Forty-nine of these 248 specimens (20 percent) contained human metapneumovirus RNA or viable virus. Thus, 20 percent of all previously virus-negative lower respiratory tract illnesses were attributable to human metapneumovirus, which means that 12 percent of all lower respiratory tract illnesses in this cohort were most likely due to this virus. The mean age of human metapneumovirus-infected children was 11.6 months, the male:female ratio was 1.8:1, 78 percent of illnesses occurred between December and April, and the hospitalization rate was 2 percent. The virus was associated with bronchiolitis in 59 percent of cases, pneumonia in 8 percent, croup in 18 percent, and an exacerbation of asthma in 14 percent. We also detected human metapneumovirus in 15 percent of samples from 261 patients with upper respiratory tract infection but in only 1 of 86 samples from asymptomatic children. Human metapneumovirus infection is a leading cause of respiratory tract infection in the first years of life, with a spectrum of disease similar to that of respiratory syncytial virus. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            Human Bocavirus and Acute Wheezing in Children

            Abstract Background . Human bocavirus is a newly discovered parvovirus. It has been detected primarily in children with acute lower respiratory tract infection, but its occurrence, clinical profile, and role as a causative agent of respiratory tract disease are not clear. Methods . We investigated the presence of human bocavirus by quantitative polymerase chain reaction of nasopharyngeal aspirate specimens and selected serum samples obtained from 259 children (median age, 1.6 years) who had been hospitalized for acute expiratory wheezing. The samples were analyzed for 16 respiratory viruses by polymerase chain reaction, virus culture, antigen detection, and serological assays. Results . At least 1 potential etiologic agent was detected in 95% of children, and >1 agent was detected in 34% of children. Human bocavirus was detected in 49 children (19%). A large proportion of the cases were mixed infections with other viruses, but human bocavirus was the only virus detected in 12 children (5%). High viral loads of human bocavirus were noted mainly in the absence of other viral agents, suggesting a causative role for acute wheezing. In addition, infections that had uncertain clinical relevance and low viral loads were prevalent. Human bocavirus DNA was frequently detected in serum specimens obtained from patients with acute wheezing, suggesting systemic infection. Conclusions . Human bocavirus is prevalent among children with acute wheezing and can cause systemic infection. Results suggest a model for bocavirus infection in which high viral loads are potentially associated with respiratory symptoms and low viral loads indicate asymptomatic shedding. Therefore, quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis may be important for additional studies of human bocavirus.
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              Dual Infection of Infants by Human Metapneumovirus and Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Is Strongly Associated with Severe Bronchiolitis

              Abstract The association between severe bronchiolitis and dual infection by human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) was investigated in !2-year-old infants with bronchiolitis who were admitted to the hospital during the 2001–2002 winter season. hMPV in nasopharyngeal aspirate and/or cells and fluid collected by nonbronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage was detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). hRSV was detected in nasopharyngeal aspirate and/or cells and fluid collected by nonbronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage by enzyme immunoassay, tissue culture, and RT-PCR. Dual infection with hMPV and hRSV confers a 10-fold increase in relative risk (RR) of admission to a pediatric intensive-care unit for mechanical ventilation (RR, 10.99 [95% confidence interval, 5.0–24.12]; P < .001, by Fisher exact test). Dual infection by hMPV and hRSV is associated with severe bronchiolitis.

                Author and article information

                J Microbiol Immunol Infect
                J Microbiol Immunol Infect
                Journal of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infection
                Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.
                18 January 2011
                June 2011
                18 January 2011
                : 44
                : 3
                : 184-190
                [a ]Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
                [b ]Mackay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan
                [c ]Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
                [d ]Department of Medical Research, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Tamsui, Taiwan
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, 92, Section 2, Chung Shan North Rd, Taipei 10449, Taiwan. ncc88@ 123456ms2.mmh.org.tw
                Copyright © 2011 Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                : 12 March 2010
                : 6 July 2010
                : 5 August 2010

                bocavirus,bronchiolitis,metapneumovirus,mixed infection,respiratory syncytial virus


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