Background: HBoV, a recently discovered parvovirus, is present in a substantial proportion of respiratory tract diseases of suspected infectious origin. The relative importance of HBoV in viral respiratory tract illnesses is still not well known.
Objective: This study looked for HBoV in pediatric patients and asymptomatic children, to determine the prevalence of HBoV compared with common respiratory viruses and to describe the clinical course associated with HBoV infections in children.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted on the clinical characteristics of children less than 14 years old admitted for respiratory infection between September 2004 and December 2006 at the Pediatrics Department of the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Madrid (Spain). The incidence of HBoV and other fifteen respiratory viruses was tested in nasopharyngeal aspirates of these patients and in asymptomatic children.
Results: At least one respiratory virus was detected in 587 (64.4%) of the 908 studied patients. HBoV was found in 153 (16.8%) samples and was the most common virus after RSV. Infections with HBoV were found year-round, although most occurred in the winter months. 50% of patients with HBoV infection were aged „T 14.3 months. The more common diagnoses were recurrent wheezing (51%) and bronchiolitis (30.5%). Fifty-five percent of patients required oxygen therapy and 70% presented high fever. Other manifestations of HBoV-associated disease outside the respiratory tract could be observed such as petechial skin rash, thrombopenia, and clinical sepsis. In 99 (65%) of the HBoV positive children, coinfections with other respiratory viruses were present. No significant differences were found between single and dual or multiple infections. HBoV was detected in 5% of asymptomatic children.
Conclusions: HBoV was the second most prevalent virus after RSV in children hospitalized for respiratory infection, and was associated with recurrent wheezing and bronchiolitis as well as extrapulmonary manifestations. Co-infections were frequent and clinically similar to single infections.