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BMC Infect Dis. 2005 Feb 1;5:6.

A novel pancoronavirus RT-PCR assay: frequent detection of human coronavirus NL63 in children hospitalized with respiratory tract infections in Belgium.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Clinical & Epidemiological Virology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, University of Leuven, Belgium. elien.moes@uz.kuleuven.ac.be

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Four human coronaviruses are currently known to infect the respiratory tract: human coronaviruses OC43 (HCoV-OC43) and 229E (HCoV-229E), SARS associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the recently identified human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63). In this study we explored the incidence of HCoV-NL63 infection in children diagnosed with respiratory tract infections in Belgium.

METHODS:

Samples from children hospitalized with respiratory diseases during the winter seasons of 2003 and 2004 were evaluated for the presence of HCoV-NL63 using a optimized pancoronavirus RT-PCR assay.

RESULTS:

Seven HCoV-NL63 positive samples were identified, six were collected during January/February 2003 and one at the end of February 2004.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results support the notation that HCoV-NL63 can cause serious respiratory symptoms in children. Sequence analysis of the S gene showed that our isolates could be classified into two subtypes corresponding to the two prototype HCoV-NL63 sequences isolated in The Netherlands in 1988 and 2003, indicating that these two subtypes may currently be cocirculating.

PMID:
15686594
PMCID:
PMC549190
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2334-5-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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