To define the role of enteroviruses and human rhinoviruses as etiological agents in childhood bronchiolitis, clinical aspirates from 84 infants admitted to hospital with symptoms of obstructive bronchiolitis were tested by picornavirus RT-PCR assay, adenovirus PCR assay and classical immunofluorescence antigen detection of common respiratory viral agents. Respiratory syncytial viruses (A&B) were detectable in 45 of 84 (53.6%) nasopharyngeal aspirates from infants with bronchiolitis, whereas coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and parainfluenza viruses were not detectable in the same samples. Adenoviruses were detectable by PCR in 11 of 84 (13.1%) nasopharyngeal swabs. By using a picornavirus RT-PCR assay followed by a differential molecular hybridisation, rhinovirus and enterovirus RNA sequences were detected in 16 of 84 (19%) and in 10 of 84 (11.9%) of the nasopharyngeal swabs tested. Positive human rhinovirus or enterovirus RT-PCR assay, however, was the only evidence of respiratory infection in 8 of 84 (9.5%) and in 7 of 84 (8.33%) of the studied patients. Respiratory syncytial viruses, human rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, and enteroviruses occur in dual infections detected in 18 of 84 (21.4%) respiratory samples tested. The median duration of stay in hospital was not significantly different between the patients demonstrating a single viral infection and those with a dual viral infection (6.22 +/- 2.07 vs. 5. 04 +/- 0.95 days; P > 0.05). In summary, combination of molecular and classical detection assays of common viruses can be used to demonstrate enterovirus and human rhinovirus respiratory infection in childhood bronchiolitis, and provides an improved approach to obtain new insights into concomitant viral respiratory tract infection in infants.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.