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Frequency and clinical relevance of human bocavirus infection in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Felix C Ringshausen, Ai-Yui M Tan, Tobias Allander, Irmgard Borg, Umut Arinir, Juliane Kronsbein, Barbara M Hauptmeier, Gerhard Schultze-Werninghaus, Gernot Rohde
International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 2009, 4: 111-7

OBJECTIVE: Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a recently discovered parvovirus associated with acute respiratory tract infections in children. The objective of the present study was to determine the frequency and clinical relevance of HBoV infection in adult patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD).

METHODS: We retrospectively tested 212 COPD patients, 141 (66.5%) with AE-COPD and 71 (33.5%) with stable disease, of whom nasal lavage and induced sputum had been obtained for the presence of HBoV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The specificity of positive polymerase chain reaction results was confirmed by sequencing.

RESULTS: Two hundred two of 212 patients for whom PCR results were available both for nasal lavage and induced sputum samples were eligible for data analysis. HBoV DNA was detected in three patients (1.5%). Of those, only one patient had AE-COPD. Thus, the frequency of HBoV infection demonstrated to be low in both AE-COPD (0.8%) and stable COPD (2.9%). HBoV was found in two sputum and one nasal lavage sample in different patients, respectively. Sequencing revealed >99% sequence identity with the reference strain.

CONCLUSION: HBoV detection was infrequent. Since we detected HBoV in both upper and lower respiratory tract specimens and in AE-COPD as well as stable disease, a major role of HBoV infection in adults with AE-COPD is unlikely.

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