Infection by rhinovirus (RV) and enterovirus (EV) in children ranges from asymptomatic infection to severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI). This cohort study evaluates the clinical impact of RV/EV species, alone or in codetection with other viruses, in young children with severe LRTI. Seventy-one patients aged less than 5 years and admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of a reference children's hospital with RV or EV (RV/EV) LRTI were prospectively included from 1/2018 to 3/2020. A commercial PCR assay for multiple respiratory pathogens was performed in respiratory specimens. In 22/71, RV/EV + respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was found, and 18/71 had RV/EV + multiple viral detections. Patients with single RV/EV detection required invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) as frequently as those with RSV codetection, whereas none of those with multiple viral codetections required IMV. Species were determined in 60 samples, 58 being RV. No EV-A, EV-C, or EV-D68 were detected. RV-B and EV-B were only found in patients with other respiratory virus codetections. There were not any associations between RV/EV species and severity outcomes. To conclude, RV/EV detection alone was observed in young children with severe disease, while multiple viral codetections may result in reduced clinical severity. Differences in pathogenicity between RV and EV species could not be drawn.
Keywords: child; co-infection; enterovirus; intensive care units; lower respiratory tract infection; rhinovirus.