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ABSTRACT: Respiratory viruses are associated with respiratory exacerbations, more frequently Respiratory Syncytial Virus in infants and Rhinovirus in children. To evaluate the prevalence and epidemiological features of newer and traditional respiratory viruses in infants and young children with recurrent wheeze. Cross sectional, prospective and descriptive study. Patients with recurrent wheeze and risk factors for asthma, age 2 months to 3 years, hospitalized with bronchial obstruction were included. On admission a respiratory sample was obtained through a nasopharyngeal aspirate. Immunofluorescence was performed to detect Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza 1, 2, 3 and Influenza A and B. Polymerase Chain Reaction was used to detect Rhinovirus, Enterovirus, Metapneumovirus, Bocavirus, Adenovirus and Coronavirus. 119 patients (61 female), age (x E DS) 1.5 E 0.9 years were included. Days on admission and on oxygen requirement were, respectively (x E DS): 6.3 E 2.9 y 4.4 E 2.7. One hundred and two (86%) positive cases were diagnosed. Fifty five percent of the viruses were detected by Immunofluorescence and 45% by Polymerase Chain Reaction. A single virus was present in 75% of the samples, 22% had a double co-infection and 3% a triple virus co-infection. Overall, the prevalence of detected respiratory viruses was: Respiratory Syncytial Virus 55 (43%); Rhinovirus 30 (23%); Metapneumovirus 13 (10%); Influenza A 8 (6%); Enterovirus 6 (5%); Bocavirus 6 (5%); Adenovirus 4 (3%); Coronavirus 3 (2%); Parainfluenza 1: 2 (1%); Influenza B, 1 (1%) and Parainfluenza 3: 1 (1%). Infants and young children with recurrent wheeze and risk factors for asthma hospitalized for bronchial obstruction present a high prevalence of respiratory viruses. Hospital admissions were more frequent during months of higher respiratory circulation.
Hospital de Niños Ricardo GutièrrezBuenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina