Rhinovirus associated with severe lower respiratory tract infections in children

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2009 Apr;28(4):337-9. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e31818ffc1b.


Rhinovirus is a respiratory virus most typically associated with the common cold and asthma exacerbations, and has not traditionally been considered to play a major role in severe lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs). As part of a surveillance program for respiratory pathogens of public health importance, children consecutively admitted to intensive care for LRTI at a large tertiary children's hospital were tested with polymerase chain reaction for 11 respiratory viruses and Mycoplasma pneumoniae from February 21 to October 31, 2007; 43 cases were enrolled and rhinovirus was the most frequently detected pathogen, with 21 (49%) positive. Rhinovirus cases frequently were young (median age, 1.4 years [range, 44 days-15 years]), hospitalized for pneumonia (10; 48%), had chronic underlying illnesses (15; 71%), had abnormal chest radiographs (18; 86%), required mechanical ventilation (12; 57%), and had prolonged hospitalization (median length, 7 days [range, 1-29 days]). Coinfection with other viruses or bacteria was common (10; 47%). Rhinovirus may be associated with more severe LRTI in children than previously reported, particularly in the noninfluenza, nonrespiratory syncytial virus season.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae / genetics
  • Picornaviridae Infections / chemically induced
  • Picornaviridae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Mycoplasma / microbiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rhinovirus / genetics
  • Rhinovirus / isolation & purification*