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PLoS One. 2015 Sep 25;10(9):e0138684. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138684. eCollection 2015.

New Epidemiological and Clinical Signatures of 18 Pathogens from Respiratory Tract Infections Based on a 5-Year Study.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China; The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2
Department of Orthopedics, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
3
The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are a heavy burden on society. However, due to the complex etiology of RTIs, the clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of these infections remain challenging, especially in developing countries.

METHODS:

To determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 18 respiratory pathogens, we analyzed 12,502 patients with acute respiratory infections (ARIs) by performing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on patient pharyngeal swabs.

RESULTS:

Samples positive for at least 1 pathogen were obtained from 48.42% of the total patients. Of these pathogen-positive patients, 17.99% were infected with more than 1 pathogen. Of the 18 pathogens analyzed, four were detected with a positive detection rate (PDR) > 5%: influenza A virus (IAV) > respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) >Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) > human coronavirus (HCoV). The pathogens with the 4 highest co-infection rates (CIRs) were as follows: HCoV > human bocavirus (HBoV) > enterovirus (EV) > parainfluenza virus (PIV). The overall positive detection rate (PDR) varied significantly according to patient age, the season and year of detection, and the disease subgroup, but not according to patient sex. The individual PDRs of the pathogens followed 3 types of distributions for patient sex, 4 types of distributions for patient age, 4 types of seasonal distributions, 2 types of seasonal epidemic trends, 4 types of yearly epidemic trends, and different susceptibility distributions in the disease subgroups. Additionally, the overall CIR showed significantly different distributions according to patient sex, patient age, and the disease subgroup, whereas the CIRs of individual pathogens suggested significant preference characteristics.

CONCLUSION:

IAV remains the most common pathogen among the pathogens analyzed. More effort should be directed toward the prevention and control of pathogens that show a trend of increasing incidence such as HCoV, human adenovirus (ADV), and RSV. Although clinically distinguishing specific pathogens responsible for RTIs is difficult, the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the various RTI-causing agents could provide clues for clinicians, thereby informing decisions regarding prevention and medication and guiding appropriate public health strategies.

PMID:
26406339
PMCID:
PMC4583381
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0138684
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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