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J Clin Virol. 2008 Jul;42(3):233-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2008.03.002. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Emerging respiratory agents: new viruses for old diseases?

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Queensland Paediatric Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Sir Albert Sakzewski Virus Research Centre, Royal Children's Hospital and Health Service District, Queensland, Australia.


The recent advances in molecular technology have enabled the detection of several new viral agents in specimens collected from the human respiratory tract. Human metapneumovirus was first described in 2001, and is a significant respiratory pathogen, particularly of children. Following the identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus, two other newly detected coronaviruses, NL63 and HKU1, have been linked to respiratory disease in humans. However, identifying a new virus as the causative agent of a specific disease is difficult, and ideally would involve satisfying Koch's postulates. The recently described human bocavirus and polyomaviruses KI and WU have been detected in samples collected from humans with acute respiratory infection, but as yet, have not been conclusively proven to be agents of human disease. We review the new viral agents that have been detected in respiratory samples since 2001, and examine their contribution as agents of human disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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