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Int J Microbiol. 2018 Oct 28;2018:8945142. doi: 10.1155/2018/8945142. eCollection 2018.

Etiology of Coinfections in Children with Influenza during 2015/16 Winter Season in Nepal.

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Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Nepal.
National Public Health Laboratory, Department of Health Services, Kathmandu, Nepal.
National Institute of Infectious Disease, Tokyo, Japan.


Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are one of the major public health problems in developing countries like Nepal. Besides the influenza, several other pathogens are responsible for acute respiratory infection in children. Etiology of infections is poorly characterized at the course of clinical management, and hence empirical antimicrobial agents are used. The objective of this study was to characterize the influenza and other respiratory pathogens by real-time PCR assay. A total of 175 throat swab specimens of influenza-positive cases collected at National Influenza Center, Nepal, during the 2015/16 winter season were selected for detecting other respiratory copathogens. Total nucleic acid was extracted using Pure Link viral RNA/DNA mini kit (Invitrogen), and multiplex RT-PCR assays were performed. Influenza A and B viruses were found in 120 (68.6%) and 55 (31.4%) specimens, respectively, among which coinfections were found in 106 (60.6%) specimens. Among the influenza A-positive cases, 25 (20.8%) were A/H1N1 pdm09 and 95 (79.2%) were A/H3 subtypes. Viruses coinfected frequently with influenza virus in children were rhinovirus (26; 14.8%), respiratory syncytial virus A/B (19; 10.8%), adenovirus (14; 8.0%), coronavirus (CoV)-HKU1 (14; 8.0%), CoV-OC43 (5; 2.9%), CoV-229E (2; 1.1%), metapneumovirus A/B (5; 2.9%), bocavirus (6; 3.4%), enterovirus (5; 2.9%), parainfluenza virus-1 (3; 1.7%), and parainfluenza virus-3 (2; 1.1%). Coinfection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae with influenza virus was found in children (5; 2.8%). Most of the viral infection occurred in young children below 5 years of age. In addition to influenza virus, nine different respiratory pathogens were detected, of which coinfections of rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus A/B were predominantly found in children. This study gives us better information on the respiratory pathogen profile and coinfection combinations which are important for diagnosis and treatment of ARIs.

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