Journal: J Clin Virol. 2011 Jul;51(3):209-12.
Directorate: Scientific Directorate
Background: Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are a leading cause of acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). Although HPIV-4 has been associated with mild ARTIs for years, recent investigations have also associated HPIV-4 infection with severe respiratory syndromes and with outbreaks of ARTIs in children.
Objectives: To characterize the role of HPIV-4 and its clinical features in children with acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRTIs) in Beijing, China.
Study design: Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected from 2009 hospitalized children with ALRTIs between March 2007 and April 2010. RT-PCR and PCR analyses were used to identify HPIV types and other known respiratory viruses.
Results: HPIVs were detected in 246 (12.2%) patients, of whom 25 (10.2%) were positive for HPIV-4, 11 (4.5%) for HPIV-2, 51 (20.7%) for HPIV-1, 151 (61.4%) for HPIV-3, and 8 (3.3%) were co-detected with different types of HPIVs. Like HPIV-3, HPIV-4 was detected in spring, summer, and late fall over the study period. Seasonal incidence varied for HPIV-1 and -2. The median patient age was 20 months for HPIV-4 infections and 7-11 months for HPIV-1, -2, and -3 infections, but the clinical manifestations did not differ significantly between HPIV-1, -2, -3, and -4 infections. Moreover, co-detection of HPIV-4 (44%) with other respiratory viruses was lower than that of HPIV-1 (62.7%), HPIV-2 (63.6%), and HPIV-3 (72.7%).
Conclusions: HPIV-4 plays an important role in Chinese paediatric ALRTIs. The epidemiological and clinical characteristics reported here improve our understanding of the pathogenesis associated with HPIV-4.