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Infection. 2014 Apr;42(2):303-8. doi: 10.1007/s15010-013-0545-5. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

The 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) coincides with changes in the epidemiology of other viral pathogens causing acute respiratory tract infections in children.

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  • 1Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University Medicine, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55101, Mainz, Germany,



In Germany, the outbreak of the novel pandemic 2009 influenza A(H1N1) virus A(H1N1)pdm09 caused a wave of high activity between November 2009 and January 2011. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of 19 respiratory pathogens in children hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections during the winter influenza seasons of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 and to observe a possible impact of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 on the epidemiology of other epidemic viruses.


Specimens were nasopharyngeal aspirates which had been collected from children admitted to the participating hospitals in the area of Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Kiel, Germany, with acute community-acquired lower respiratory tract infections. The specimens were subjected to a previously described multiplex reverse transcription PCR assay to detect the following microorganisms: enterovirus, influenza virus types A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenzavirus types 1-4, adenovirus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, rhinovirus, human metapneumovirus (hMPV), coronavirus OC43 and 229E, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, Bordetella pertussis, Bordetella parapertussis, and Legionella pneumophila.


A total of 3,998 clinical specimens were collected from July 2009 to March 2011, of which 296 were positive for A(H1N1)pdm09. An epidemic of seasonal influenza A or B was not observed in the 2009/2010 season, but a minor epidemic of seasonal influenza B was observed in January/February 2011. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 coincided with the absence of the seasonal influenza A of former years. The RSV and hMPV epidemics of 2009/2010 erupted several weeks later than expected based on data collected in the PID-ARI-Network during the past 10 years, whereas in the 2010/2011 influenza season they occurred as expected.


The emergence of the novel influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus may have been influenced the epidemiology of other epidemic viruses, such as the RSV and hMPV. No epidemic of seasonal influenza was observed in the 2009/2010 influenza season.

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