Clinical severity of rhinovirus/enterovirus compared to other respiratory viruses in children

Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2014 Jul;8(4):436-42. doi: 10.1111/irv.12255. Epub 2014 May 7.


Background: Human rhinovirus/enterovirus (HRV/ENT) infections are commonly identified in children with acute respiratory infections (ARIs), but data on their clinical severity remain limited.

Objectives: We compared the clinical severity of HRV/ENT to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A/B (FLU), and other common respiratory viruses in children.

Patients/methods: Retrospective study of children with ARIs and confirmed single positive viral infections on mid-turbinate swabs by molecular assays. Outcome measures included hospital admission and, for inpatients, a composite endpoint consisting of intensive care admission, hospitalization >5 days, oxygen requirements or death.

Results: A total of 116 HRV/ENT, 102 RSV, 99 FLU, and 64 other common respiratory viruses were identified. Children with single HRV/ENT infections presented with significantly higher rates of underlying immunosuppressive conditions compared to those with RSV (37.9% versus 13.6%; P < 0.001), FLU (37.9% versus 22%; P = 0.018) or any other single viral infection (37.9% versus 22.5%; P = 0.024). In multivariable analysis adjusted for underlying conditions and age, children with HRV/ENT infections had increased odds of hospitalization compared to children with RSV infections (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.4, 4.8; P < 0.003) or FLU infections (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.6, 5.8; <0.001) and increased odds of severe clinical disease among inpatients (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.6,5.6; P = 0.001) when compared to those with FLU infections.

Conclusions: Children with HRV/ENT had a more severe clinical course than those with RSV and FLUA/B infections and often had significant comorbidities. These findings emphasize the importance of considering HRV/ENT infection in children presenting with severe acute respiratory tract infections.

Keywords: Clinical disease severity; human rhinovirus/enterovirus; influenza; respiratory syncytial virus; single viral infections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / pathology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Virus Diseases / pathology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology
  • Viruses / classification
  • Viruses / isolation & purification*