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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Apr;46(4):1337-42. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02160-07. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Impact of human bocavirus on children and their families.

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  • 1Institute of Pediatrics, University of Milan, Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena, Via Commenda 9, 20122 Milano, Italy.


This study was planned to investigate the prevalence and clinical features of the illnesses associated with human bocavirus (hBoV) in children with acute disease. We prospectively enrolled all subjects aged less than 15 years attending an emergency room in Milan, Italy, on Wednesdays and Sundays between 1 November 2004 and 31 March 2005 for any acute medical reason, excluding surgical diseases and trauma. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected at admission to detect hBoV; influenza A and B viruses; respiratory syncytial virus; human metapneumovirus; parainfluenza viruses 1, 2, 3, and 4; rhinovirus; adenovirus; and coronaviruses 229E, OC43, NL63, and HKU1 by real-time PCR. Among the 1,332 enrolled children, hBoV was the fifth most frequently detected virus (7.4%). The rate of hBoV coinfections with other viruses was significantly higher than for the other viruses (50.5% versus 27.5%; P < 0.0001). Eighty-nine of the 99 hBoV-positive children (89.9%) had a respiratory tract infection, and 10 (10.1%) had gastroenteritis. hBoV coinfections had a significantly greater clinical and socioeconomic impact on the infected children and their households than hBoV infection alone. In conclusion, these findings show that the role of hBoV infection alone seems marginal in children attending an emergency room for acute disease; its clinical and socioeconomic importance becomes relevant only when it is associated with other viruses.

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