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J Med Virol. 2016 Mar;88(3):389-94. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24346. Epub 2015 Oct 19.

Detection of human bocavirus type 1 infection in Panamanian children with respiratory illness.

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  • 1Deparment of Research in Virology and Biotechnology, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama.
  • 2Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama.
  • 3Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Panama, Panama City, Panama.
  • 4Department of Genomic and Proteomic, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama.
  • 5Virology Section, School of Sciences, University of the Republic, Montevideo, Uruguay.


The human bocavirus (HBoV) was added as a new member of the Parvoviridae family in 2005 upon its discovery in nasopharyngeal aspirates from children with respiratory infection. Recently, there has been increasing evidence of worldwide circulation of HBoV; however, in Latin America few studies have been conducted. In order to detect the circulation of HBoV in Panama, based on the National Flu Surveillance System, we developed this retrospective, cross-sectional study, from January 2011 to January 2012. Children younger than 6 years old who presented with respiratory disease were enrolled in this study. Nasopharyngeal swabs were taken in sentinel surveillance sites. Samples were tested to detect mRNA from HBoV, as well as viral RNA and DNA from others respiratory viruses. A total of 1078 patients were enrolled in this study. Overall, 44 (4.1%) of the patients presented HBoV. The most common symptoms were cough (84.6%), fever (82.1%), rhinorrhea (74.4%), and sore throat (38.5%). Less than half (45.5%) of HBoV infected patients presented with monoinfection while 54.5% of cases presented with coinfection with others respiratory viruses. Both, outpatients and inpatients were included in this study. Outpatients corresponded to 52.3% of the cases and 47.7% were inpatients. Coinfection was observed in the 50% of the inpatient cases. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the circulating strains belonged to different clades of HBoV genotype 1. Taken together, our results support the pathogenic nature of this viral agent, especially in younger children.


nasopharyngeal swabs; phylogenetic analysis; respiratory infection

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