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J Clin Microbiol. 2007 Jul;45(7):2116-22. Epub 2007 May 2.

Real-time PCR for diagnosis of human bocavirus infections and phylogenetic analysis.

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  • 1Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 7, D-97078 Würzburg, Germany.


The human bocavirus (hBoV) was first described in 2005 in respiratory tract samples. The clinical relevance of hBoV is still unclear. The aim of our study was to establish a real-time PCR assay for the detection and quantification of hBoV DNA, to apply the real-time assay for the analysis of stool and serum samples for the presence of hBoV DNA, and to perform a phylogenetic analysis of the hBoV positive samples. A total of 834 nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA), 10 serum samples, and 31 stool samples of children with acute respiratory diseases were retrospectively tested. For phylogenetic analysis, 968 bp of the VP2 gene were sequenced from 69 hBoV-positive NPA samples. The qualitative results of the real-time hBoV PCR were in good agreement with a conventional hBoV PCR. We found that 12% of the NPA were positive for hBoV DNA. The median viral load in the NPA was 4.9 x 10(3) copies/ml (range, 2.7 x 10 degrees to 1.5 x 10(11) copies/ml). There was no difference of the hBoV load in NPA between children with or without known coinfection, but the load was significantly higher in children with bronchitis than in children with the diagnosis of febrile seizures. hBoV DNA was found in 1 of 10 serum samples and in 14 of 31 stool samples. hBoV sequence identity was >99% in the VP2 region. In conclusion, hBoV DNA can be found in NPA samples at very high titers. In addition to being found in the respiratory tract, hBoV was found in stool samples. The clinical relevance of these findings remains to be determined.

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