Adenoviruses (Ad) play an important role in the etiology of acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI) in young children in Chile. Our aim was to correlate the clinical severity of the infections with the Ad strains isolated during surveillance over 8 years. From 1988 through 1996, nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) were obtained for viral isolation and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) from children under 2 years of age hospitalized for ALRI; Ad isolates were further studied by restriction enzyme analysis of genomic DNA. Of 3,097 cases enrolled, the Ad isolation rate was 12.6%. The most common admission diagnoses among Ad-positive cases were pneumonia and wheezing bronchitis (69.8%). Duration of Ad shedding was studied in 74 cases by IFA. Children excreting Ad for 4 or more days had a longer hospital stay than those shedding for 1-3 days (mean: 16.8 and 7.2 days, respectively; P <.01). Viral shedding for more than 3 days was associated with more severe outcomes. Genome typing of 221 out of 390 Ad isolates resulted in 87 subgenus C and 134 subgenus B strains, including 123 Ad genome type 7h (55.6%, P <.01). The IFA from the NPA was more sensitive for the detection of subgenus B (51. 5%) than subgenus C infections (24.1%, P <.01). Children shedding Ad 7h had longer hospital stays (P <.01), a higher frequency of rectal temperatures over 39 degrees C (P <.01), and greater need for additional oxygen (P <.02) than subgenus C cases. Four cases requiring mechanical ventilation were associated with Ad 7h infections. The data presented show that, in children hospitalized for ALRI, the genome type 7h was associated with a more severe clinical outcome.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.