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J Infect Dis. 2007 Mar 1;195(5):675-9. Epub 2007 Jan 18.

Spectrum of viruses and atypical bacteria in intercontinental air travelers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection.

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  • 1Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany.

Erratum in

  • J Infect Dis. 2007 Apr 15;195(8):1237.


Respiratory infections after air travel are frequent, but epidemiological data are incomplete. Using sensitive polymerase chain reactions, we studied the spectrum of atypical bacteria and respiratory viruses in travelers fulfilling the case definition of severe acute respiratory syndrome. A pathogen was identified in 67 travelers (43.2%). Influenza and parainfluenza viruses were most prevalent, at 14.2% and 15.5%, respectively. Prevalences of adenoviruses, human metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, and rhinoviruses ranged between 2.6% and 4.8%. Human bocavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and Legionella, Mycoplasma, and Chlamydophila species were absent or appeared at frequencies of <1%. To our knowledge, these are the first specific baseline data for the mentioned agents in the context of air travel.

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