INTRODUCTION: Human bocavirus (family Parvoviridae) was recently identified in children with respiratory tract infection (RTI), first in Sweden, and subsequently in different parts of the world.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to gain insight into the epidemiology of bocavirus in children with RTI in Greece.
METHODS: One hundred ten throat-swab samples were collected during the autumn and winter months of 2006–2007 from previously healthy children (aged 1 month to 13 years) who were hospitalized for RTI. DNA was extracted from the samples, and polymerase chain reaction was performed to amplify the NS1 gene of the bocavirus genome. Polymerase chain reaction products were sequenced and compared with respective bocavirus sequences.
RESULTS: Bocavirus DNA was detected in 10 samples (9%). Comparison with previously identified bocavirus sequences showed a high degree of identity. Mean age of the children was 1.8 years (range: 2 months to 4 years). The most common symptoms were fever, cough, and various degrees of respiratory distress. A majority of the children (9 of 10) were clinically diagnosed as having lower RTI, mainly acute bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of human bocavirus infection in Greece, which suggests that the virus is spread worldwide, and it is associated with RTI in infants and young children.
Submitted by Katerina Haidopoulou
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics