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Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of human bocavirus infection in infants and young children suffering with community acquired pneumonia in Ningxia, China

Background: Pneumonia has a high incidence rate and is a major cause of mortality in children, mostly community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Human bocavirus (HBoV), since it first identified in 2005, has been repeatedly associated with respiratory tract infections. Nevertheless, the role and related information of HBoV as a pathogen of CAP has not been fulfilled. Here our study is to assess the epidemiological and clinical features in HBoV-positive children with CAP.

Methods: A total of 878 secretions of lower respiratory samples were obtained, multiplex PCR was used to detect HBoV and other respiratory viruses.

Results: Of all cases, HBoV was detected in 10.0%, with a peak incidence of infection among children < 2 year old, and predominantly noted in autumn and winter. Only 8 patients were HBoV single infection. Co-infection with other respiratory viruses was observed in 86.4%. Moreover, co-infection with bacteria occurred in 27.3% and with Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) in 33.0% of HBoV-positive patients. Among all HBoV-positive samples co-infected with bacteria, 87.5% are gram negative bacteria. Compared with HBoV-negative group, age (P = 0.048), wheezing (P = 0.015), tachypnea (P = 0.016), lactate dehydrogenase (P = 0.026) and severe pneumonia (P = 0.023) were statistically significant in HBoV-positive patients. Furthermore, HBoV-positive patients less than 1 year old were more likely to have co-infection with bacteria (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: HBoV can be detected alone in respiratory samples of children with CAP, maybe it is one of the causes of CAP in infants. The high incidence of severe pneumonia was found in HBoV-positive patients compared with HBoV-negative cases may indicate a relationship between severe pneumonia and HBoV.


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