Broad spectrum respiratory pathogen analysis of throat swabs from military recruits reveals interference between rhinoviruses and adenoviruses

Microb Ecol. 2010 May;59(4):623-34. doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9636-3. Epub 2010 Mar 9.


Military recruits experience a high incidence of febrile respiratory illness (FRI), leading to significant morbidity and lost training time. Adenoviruses, group A Streptococcus pyogenes, and influenza virus are implicated in over half of the FRI cases reported at recruit training center clinics, while the etiology of the remaining cases is unclear. In this study, we explore the carriage rates and disease associations of adenovirus, enterovirus, rhinovirus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Neisseria meningitidis in military recruits using high-density resequencing microarrays. The results showed that rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae, and N. meningitidis were widely distributed in recruits. Of these five agents, only adenovirus showed significant correlation with illness. Among the samples tested, only pathogens associated with FRI, such as adenovirus 4 and enterovirus 68, revealed strong temporal and spatial clustering of specific strains, indicating that they are transmitted primarily within sites. The results showed a strong negative association between adenoviral FRI and the presence of rhinoviruses in recruits, suggesting some form of viral interference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Fever / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Pharynx / virology
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / virology
  • Rhinovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral