RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Clinical and molecular epidemiology of human bocavirus in respiratory and fecal samples from children in Hong Kong.

BACKGROUND: Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a recently discovered parvovirus associated with respiratory tract infections in children. We conducted the first systematic prospective clinical and molecular study using nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) and fecal samples.

METHODS: NPAs negative for influenza virus, parainfluenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, adenovirus, and coronavirus and fecal samples from patients with acute gastroenteritis were included. On the basis of results from a pilot study using 400 NPAs from all age groups, a prospective 12-month study was conducted to detect HBoV in 1,200 NPAs and 1,435 fecal samples from patients <18 years old by polymerase chain reaction. The complete genome sequences of HBoVs from 12 NPAs and 12 fecal samples were determined.

RESULTS: Of the 400 NPAs collected in the pilot study, 20 (5.0%) were found to contain HBoV, all from children <5 years old. In the subsequent prospective study of pediatric patients, HBoV was detected in 83 (6.9%) of 1,200 NPAs. Upper and lower respiratory tract infections were equally common. HBoV was detected in 30 (2.1%) of 1,435 fecal samples. Fever and watery diarrhea were the most common symptoms. The seasonality of HBoV in NPAs and fecal samples was similar. Codetection with other pathogens occurred in 33% and 56% of NPAs and fecal samples, respectively, from patients with HBoV infection. Genomes of HBoVs from NPAs and fecal samples displayed minimal sequence variations.

CONCLUSIONS: HBoV was detected in fecal specimens in children with acute gastroenteritis. A single lineage of HBoV was associated with both respiratory tract and enteric infections.

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