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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2010 Jun;45(6):585-91. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21225.

Role of emerging respiratory viruses in children with severe acute wheezing.

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Pediatrics Department, Severo Ochoa Hospital, Madrid, Spain.



Acute wheezing episodes are frequently associated with respiratory viral infections in children. However, the role of the recently described respiratory viruses is not yet fully understood.


The main objective of this study was to estimate the frequency of human metapneumovirus (HMPV), human bocavirus (HBoV), and 14 other respiratory viruses in hospitalized children with acute wheezing.


A prospective study was conducted on children <14 years old, admitted with an acute expiratory wheezing episode from September 2005 to June 2008. Viruses were detected in nasopharyngeal aspirates by polymerase chain reaction. Clinical data were prospectively recorded.


A viral pathogen was identified in 444 (71%) out of 626 hospitalized acute wheezing episodes. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was the most frequently detected (27%), followed by rhinovirus (24%), adenovirus (17.8%), HBoV (16%), and HMPV (4.7%). The rate of viral detection was significantly higher in infants (77.3%), than in older children (59.8%) (P < 0.001). RSV and HBoV were more prevalent in infants (P < 0.001) than in older children.


The most prevalent viruses found in severe acute wheezing episodes were RSV and rhinovirus not only in childhood, but also in infancy. However, other emerging viruses such as HBoV and metapneumovirus also play an important role in wheezing episodes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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