The Particulars: Little is known about the impact of viral coinfections and recently discovered viruses on the epidemiology of respiratory infections (RIs) in pediatric patients.
Data Breakdown: Investigators in Greece conducted an analysis in which a DNA/RNA microarray assay identified 17 viruses of viral subtypes. The assay was used to simultaneously detect viruses involved in the etiology of RIs. Two or more viruses were found in 42.5% of pediatric patients for whom viral infection was detected. The most common viruses in those with viral co-infections involved respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), including A-RSV B (27.2%), RSV-influenza (11.8%), RSV-human rhinovirus (10.6%), and para-influenza virus-influenza-RSV (5.3%). Coinfections were associated with an increased risk for hospitalization, whereas previous pneumococcal vaccination was protective.
Take Home Pearls: Viral coinfections appear to play a role in a significant proportion of children with acute RI. Coinfections in this patient population may increase the severity of clinical presentation and risk for hospitalization.
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For more information on these studies and others that were presented at ICAAC 2012, go to www.icaac.org.