Viral etiology of acute respiratory infections with cough in infancy: a community-based birth cohort study

Regamey, Nicolas; Kaiser, Laurent; Roiha, Hanna L; Deffernez, Christelle; Kuehni, Claudia E; Latzin, Philipp; Aebi, Christoph; Frey, Urs (2008). Viral etiology of acute respiratory infections with cough in infancy: a community-based birth cohort study. Pediatric infectious disease journal, 27(2), pp. 100-5. Hagerstown, Md.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 10.1097/INF.0b013e31815922c8

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BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are a major cause of morbidity in infancy worldwide, with cough and wheeze being alarming symptoms to parents. We aimed to analyze in detail the viral aetiology of ARI with such symptoms in otherwise healthy infants, including rhinoviruses and recently discovered viruses such as human metapneumovirus (HMPV), coronavirus NL63 and HKU1, and human bocavirus (HBoV). METHODS: We prospectively followed 197 unselected infants during their first year of life and assessed clinical symptoms by weekly standardized interviews. At the first ARI with cough or wheeze, we analyzed nasal swabs by sensitive individual real time polymerase chain reaction assays targeting 16 different respiratory viruses. RESULTS: All 112 infants who had an ARI had cough, and 39 (35%) had wheeze. One or more respiratory viruses were found in 88 of 112 (79%) cases. Fifteen (17%) dual and 3 (3%) triple infections were recorded. Rhino- (23% of all viruses) and coronaviruses (18%) were most common, followed by parainfluenza viruses (17%), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (16%), HMPV (13%), and HBoV (5%). Together rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, HMPV, and HBoV accounted for 60% (65 of 109) of viruses. Although symptom scores and need for general practitioner (GP) consultations were highest in infants infected with RSV, they were similar in infants infected with other viruses. Viral shedding at 3 weeks occurred in 20% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, HMPV, and HBoV are common pathogens associated with respiratory symptoms in otherwise healthy infants. They should be considered in the differential diagnosis of the aetiology of ARI in this age group.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Regamey, Nicolas; Kühni, Claudia; Latzin, Philipp; Aebi, Christoph and Frey, Urs Peter






Lippincott Williams & Wilkins




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:02

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2015 10:20

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URI: (FactScience: 104793)

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