Coinfection in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients: Where are influenza virus and rhinovirus/enterovirus?

J Med Virol. 2020 Oct;92(10):1699-1700. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25953. Epub 2020 Jul 17.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus‐2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) has been declared a global pandemic. Our goal was to determine whether coinfections with other respiratory pathogens occur in a significant subset of SARS‐CoV‐2 infected patients in the greater New York City metropolitan area. During the period from March 16, 2020 through April 20, 2020, our laboratory detected SARS‐CoV‐2 infection in 8,990 patients of a total 18,704 tested by real‐time reverse‐transcription‐polymerase‐chain‐reaction amplification (SARS‐CoV‐2 Test, cobas® 6800 system, RocheDiagnostics). Amongst the patients who tested positive for SARS‐CoV‐2, 1,204 were also tested for other respiratory viruses, and concurrent infection was found in only 36 (< 3%). In comparison, coinfection with at least one non‐SARS‐CoV‐2 respiratory viral pathogen was found in 13.1% of patients who tested negative for SARS‐CoV‐2. Additionally, in patients who tested negative for SARS‐CoV‐2, the most common respiratory virus co‐infections were those commonly seen circulating in the community including rhinovirus/enterovirus, influenza viruses and coronavirus NL63, whereas non‐SARS‐CoV‐2 coronaviridae were the most common concurrent respiratory viruses found in SARS‐CoV‐2 –positive patients. Additional studies are needed to establish whether simultaneous viral infection in SARS‐CoV‐2 patients could potential drive viral interference or influence disease outcomes.

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MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Coinfection / epidemiology*
  • Coinfection / virology*
  • Enterovirus / pathogenicity
  • Enterovirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Enterovirus Infections / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthomyxoviridae / pathogenicity
  • Pandemics*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / virology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Rhinovirus / pathogenicity
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity