WU polyomavirus detected in children with severe respiratory failure

J Clin Virol. 2018 Oct;107:25-28. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2018.08.003. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


Background: WU polyomavirus (WUPyV) is a relatively new virus associated with respiratory infections. However, its role is unclear in children with severe respiratory failure.

Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the characteristics of severe respiratory failure associated with WUPyV infection in children.

Study design: We retrospectively reviewed cases of respiratory tract infection at a tertiary children's hospital in Japan and performed real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for WUPyV using residual extracted nucleic acid samples taken from respiratory tract samples of pediatric patients primarily with respiratory failure. We investigated the clinical characteristics of patients positive for WUPyV and assessed samples positive for WUPyV for other respiratory pathogens using multiplex PCR.

Results: WUPyV was detected in 14 of 318 specimens of respiratory tract infections. The median age was 34 months and males were predominant (n = 11, 64%). An underlying disease was found in 11 (79%) patients including five preterm and three immunocompromised patients. The most common clinical diagnosis was pneumonia (n = 13, 93%). The majority of the samples were endotracheal tube aspirates (n = 11, 79%). Other viruses were co-detected in nine (64%) patients, while WUPyV was the only pathogen detected in five patients with a history of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. These five patients presented with fever and cough, and perihilar infiltrates were detected on chest radiograph in several days.

Conclusions: WUPyV was detected in children with severe respiratory failure independently or concurrently with other pathogens. WUPyV can be a pathogen for children with a history of preterm birth or an underlying disease.

Keywords: Children; Preterm; Respiratory failure; WU polyomavirus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Nasopharynx / virology
  • Polyomavirus / genetics
  • Polyomavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Polyomavirus / pathogenicity
  • Polyomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Polyomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / virology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • DNA, Viral