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Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Aug;11(8):1225-9.

Human coronavirus NL63, France.

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  • 1University Hospital, Caen, France.


The human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) was first identified in The Netherlands, and its circulation in France has not been investigated. We studied HCoV-NL63 infection in hospitalized children diagnosed with respiratory tract infections. From November 2002 to April 2003, we evaluated 300 respiratory specimens for HCoV-NL63. Of the 300 samples, 28 (9.3%) were positive for HCoV-NL63. The highest prevalence was found in February (18%). The main symptoms were fever (61%), rhinitis (39%), bronchiolitis (39%), digestive problems (33%), otitis (28%), pharyngitis (22%), and conjunctivitis (17%). A fragment of the spike protein gene was sequenced to determine the variety of circulating HCoV-NL63. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that strains with different genetic markers cocirculate in France.

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