PCR-based diagnosis of respiratory virus in postsurgical septic patients: A preliminary study before SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Medicine (Baltimore). 2022 Aug 12;101(32):e29902. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000029902.


Respiratory viruses are part of the normal microbiota of the respiratory tract, which sometimes cause infection with/without respiratory insufficiency and the need for hospital or ICU admission. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of respiratory viruses in nontransplanted postoperative septic patients as well as lymphocyte count influence in their presence and its relationship to mortality. 223 nontransplanted postsurgical septic patients were recruited on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid prior to the SARS-COV-2 pandemic. Patients were split into 2 groups according to the presence/absence of respiratory viruses. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent factors related to positive respiratory virus PCR test. Respiratory viruses were isolated in 28.7% of patients. 28-day mortality was not significantly different between virus-positive and virus-negative groups. Logistic regression analysis revealed that lymphocyte count ≤ 928/µl is independently associated with a positive PCR result [OR 3.76, 95% CI (1.71-8.26), P = .001] adjusted by platelet count over 128,500/µL [OR 4.27, 95% CI (1.92-9.50) P < .001] and the presence of hypertension [OR 2.69, 95% CI (1.13-6.36) P = .025] as confounding variables. Respiratory viruses' detection by using PCR in respiratory samples of nontransplanted postoperative septic patients is frequent. These preliminary results revealed that the presence of lymphopenia on sepsis diagnosis is independently associated to a positive virus result, which is not related to a higher 28-day mortality.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19* / diagnosis
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Pandemics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sepsis*