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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Jul;32(7):947-54. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1832-x. Epub 2013 Feb 23.

Rhinovirus infections in western Sweden: a four-year molecular epidemiology study comparing local and globally appearing types.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 10B, 413 36 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Human rhinovirus (HRV) is a highly prevalent pathogen and a major cause of acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI). HRV express less seasonality than other viral ARTIs, which typically appear as seasonal epidemics lasting for 1-2 months. The aim of this study was to investigate the seasonal patterns of HRV types over four consecutive years in one geographic region. HRV identified in respiratory samples from 114 patients over a four-year period were analysed by VP4/VP2 sequencing. HRV-A was found in 64, HRV-B in 11 and HRV-C in 37 cases. Overall, 33 different HRV-A types, nine B types and 21 C types were found. As many as 21 of the HRV types appeared during several seasons, with a maximum time-span of four years. Some types appeared during successive seasons and, in some cases, phylogenetic analysis indicated extended periods of circulation locally. Most of the strains were closely related to HRV identified in other parts of the world during the same time period. HRV strains that circulate locally represent many types and seem to reflect that HRV infections are highly globalised. The existence of simultaneous or successive epidemics with different HRV types in combination with the ability of each type to remain in the local population over extended periods of time may contribute to explaining the high rate of HRV infections.

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