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Clinical and genetic analysis of Human Bocavirus in children with lower respiratory tract infection in Taiwan.

BACKGROUND: Human Bocavirus (HBoV) is a likely etiologic agent of acute respiratory disease in children. The prevalence of this virus has been studied in several sites worldwide. We conducted the first clinical and molecular study of HBoV in Taiwan at the Centers for Diseases Control, Taiwan.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the genomic and epidemiologic profiles of HBoV infection in Taiwan.

STUDY DESIGN: Throat swabs or nasopharyngeal aspirates were obtained from hospitalized pediatric patients with acute lower respiratory tract infections. Specimens negative for other respiratory viruses by molecular screening were examined for HBoV.

RESULTS: HBoV was the only virus detected in 30 (5.6%) of 531 samples. Of these positive cases, 56.7% were from children less than 2 years old. Two groups of HBoV co-circulated in Taiwan during the study. Results of evolutionary networks evaluation suggest that HBoV might have had an opportunity for interbreeding of viruses and genetic recombinations among the different genes.

CONCLUSION: HBoV may have circulated in Taiwan for some time and it appears to be one of the etiological agents responsible for lower respiratory tract infection in children.

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