RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Human bocavirus in Italian patients with respiratory diseases.

BACKGROUND: hBoV, a recently discovered parvovirus, can be present in the respiratory tract of patients with acute respiratory diseases (ARD), but its etiologic involvement in the underlying diseases is still uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To determine in a retrospective study, the prevalence of hBoV, compared with common respiratory viruses (RV), in respiratory specimens from patients with ARD.

STUDY DESIGN: A total of 335 specimens obtained over 7 years were examined. Two hundred were nasal swabs from infants hospitalized for ARD, 84 were nasal swabs or bronchoalveolar lavages from adults with pneumonia, bronchopneumonia or asthma, and 51 were nasal swabs from healthy children.

RESULTS: The overall rate of hBoV detection in specimens from infants with ARD, which was 4.5%, varied slightly from year to year, except for the period 2000-2002, when no specimen was positive. Unlike other RV, no seasonal variation in hBoV incidence was noted. Infants with hBoV infection suffered either from bronchiolitis or from bronchopneumonia and 5 out of 9 cases yielded no co-infecting viral pathogen. Only one sample from an adult was hBoV positive. None of the nasal swabs from healthy subjects tested hBoV-positive.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that hBoV can cause ARD in infants.

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