Background: A significant increase in adenovirus detection among patients at the Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City was observed between June 2007 and January 2008.
Objective: To molecularly characterize the human adenoviruses and describe their association with clinical illness in children.
Study design: One hundred adenovirus-positive specimens from 79 children were typed by hexon gene sequence typing method. Restriction enzyme analysis (REA) was performed on isolates of HAdV-3, -7 and -14 to identify genomic variants. Medical records were reviewed to understand the clinical illnesses associated with adenovirus serotypes and genome types.
Results: The most prevalent HAdV serotypes were HAdV-3 (37%), HAdV-7 (25%), HAdV-1 (16%), HAdV-2 (8%). HAdV infection was common in children ≤3 years of age (71%) versus children >3 years (29%). Majority of the HAdV-infected children were hospitalized (78%); 22/79 (28%) stayed >3 days and 8/79 (10%) required intensive care unit stay. Hospitalization rates for HAdV-3 (36%) and HAdV-7 (25%) were comparable. REA data indicated that HAdV-3a2 was the predominant HAdV-3 genome type. Two novel genomic variants of HAdV-3 exhibiting unique BglII or BstEII profiles were identified in isolates from patients with bronchiolitis. All HAdV-7 and -14 isolates were identified as corresponding to genome types 7d2 and 14p1, respectively.
Conclusions: In Kansas City, we noticed an increase in the incidence of HAdV-7 (25%; n=24/98) infections compared to the previous two years (6%; n=6/107). Two new genomic variants of HAdV-3 appear to have emerged in our area and seem to be associated with lower respiratory tract infections in children.
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