Role of respiratory viruses in infants less than six months of age with upper respiratory tract infections
Background: With a wide range of clinical presentations, respiratory tract infections remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in infants. The aim of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to determine the frequency of respiratory viruses responsible for upper respiratory tract infections during the 2013-2014 influenza season in infants less than 6 months of age.
Methods: Nasal swabs were obtained from patients with symptoms suggestive of an influenza-like illness (ILI) between January and April 2014. Specimens were evaluated by RT-PCR to help identify the causative viral pathogens.
Results: A total of 150 patients with ILI were enrolled in the study. A respiratory virus was successfully detected in 126 (84%) infants; RSV in 41 (32.5%), rhinovirus in 17 (13.4%), metapneumovirus in 15 (11.9%), coronavirus in 11 (8.7%), adenovirus in 5 (3.9%), parainfluenza virus in 2 (1.5%) and bocavirus in 2 (1.5%) infants. Thirty-three (26.1%) patients were found to be co-infected with both two viruses. Rhinorrhea and developing complications were significantly more frequently seen in RT-PCR positive patients (p=0.023 and p=0.019, respectively). All complications were seen in RT-PCR positive group, especially in metapneumovirus, RSV and multiple viruses positive patients.
Conclusions: With an overall viral pathogen detection rate of 84%, findings of our study present that influenza viruses were not seen in infants less than 6 months of age in our study population, whether RSV and multiple viral infections were the most common causes in this age group.
Keywords: infants, influenza-like illness, real-time PCR, respiratory viruses
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