[Human bocavirus infections in Spanish 0-14 year-old: clinical and epidemiological characteristics of an emerging respiratory virus]

M L García-García, C Calvo Rey, F Pozo Sánchez, M C Vázquez Alvarez, A González Vergaz, P Pérez-Breña, I Casas Flecha
Anales de Pediatría: Publicación Oficial de la Asociación Española de Pediatría (A.E.P.) 2007, 67 (3): 212-9

INTRODUCTION: In 2005 a new respiratory virus, called human bocavirus (HBoV), was cloned from respiratory samples from Swedish infants and children with lower respiratory tract infections.

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether HBoV has circulated in Spain, estimate the frequency of HBoV infections in patients hospitalized for respiratory infection and describe the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of these patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We performed a descriptive prospective study of confirmed HBoV infections in patients aged < 14 years old, hospitalized for respiratory infections between October 2004 and June 2005. Virologic diagnosis was based on multiple RT-PCR for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) A and B, influenza A,B, and C, parainfluenza 1-4, adenovirus and rhinovirus; PCR was used for human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and PCR in nasopharyngeal aspirates was used for HBoV. The clinical and epidemiological characteristics of patients were analyzed.

RESULTS: Fifty-two cases of HBoV infection were detected, representing 17.1% (95% CI: 13% a 21%) of patients hospitalized for respiratory infections. HBoV was the third most frequent viral agent after RSV (30%) and rhinovirus (25%). In 39 patients (71.1%) coinfection with another respiratory virus was detected. Fifty percent of the patients were aged less than 13.6 months and 75% were aged less than 2 years. The most frequent diagnoses were recurrent wheezing (55.8%), bronchiolitis (21.2%) and pneumonia (15.4%). Clinical sepsis with petechial exanthema was found in two patients. Fever > 38 degrees C was found in 72.1% and radiological infiltrate in 44%. Hypoxia was present in 55.8 % of the patients. HBoV was isolated in distinct episodes in two patients. Coinfections were similar to simple infections except that hypoxia was more frequent in the former (p = 0.038).

CONCLUSIONS: HBoV is one of the most frequent viruses in severe respiratory infections in patients aged less than 14 years old. Only RSV and rhinovirus are more frequent. Coinfections are highly frequent. Most patients are infants with recurrent wheezing and bronchiolitis.

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