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, 175 (12), 1951-1958

Is the Role of Rhinoviruses as Causative Agents of Pediatric Community-Acquired Pneumonia Over-Estimated?


Is the Role of Rhinoviruses as Causative Agents of Pediatric Community-Acquired Pneumonia Over-Estimated?

Tatyana V Spichak et al. Eur J Pediatr.


The role that rhinoviruses, enteroviruses, parainfluenza viruses, coronaviruses and human bocavirus play in pediatric pneumonia is insufficiently studied. We used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to study 9 virus groups, including 16 different viruses or viral strains, in 56 ambulatory children with radiologically confirmed community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). The same tests were carried out on 474 apparently healthy control children of the same age and sex. The mean age of children with CAP was 6.5 years (SD 4.2). Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was found in 19.6 % of 56 cases and in 2.1 % of 474 controls. Adenoviruses were present in 12.5 % of cases (0.2 % controls) and metapneumovirus and influenza A virus each in 10.7 % of cases (0.2 % controls). Interestingly, rhinoviruses were less common in cases (10.7 %) than in controls (22.4 %): odds ratio 0.36 (95%CI) 0.15-0.87) in conditional logistic regression including 56 cases and 280 controls matched for age, sex and sampling month. The prevalence of parainfluenza viruses, enteroviruses, coronaviruses and human bocavirus were similar in both groups.

Conclusion: We conclude that the role of rhinoviruses as an etiology of pediatric CAP has been over-estimated, mainly due to the non-controlled designs of previous studies. What is Known: • In non-controlled studies, rhinovirus detection has been common, next to respiratory syncytial virus, in children with viral community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). • Enteroviruses, coronaviruses and the human bocavirus have been found less frequently. What is New: • In this controlled study, rhinoviruses were detected more often in healthy controls than in children with CAP, and enteroviruses, coronaviruses and human bocavirus were detected equally often in cases and controls. • We conclude that previous studies have over-estimated the role of rhinoviruses in the etiology of CAP in children.

Keywords: Adenoviruses; Child; Community-acquired pneumonia; Human bocavirus; Respiratory syncytial virus; Rhinoviruses.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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