Alice Caporizzi, Federica Ravidà, Sara Barneschi, Maria Moriondo, Francesco Nieddu, Silvia Boscia, Mariangela Stinco, Silvia Ricci, Sandra Trapani

Analysis of a Cohort of 165 Pediatric Patients with Human Bocavirus Infection and Comparison between Mono-Infection and Respiratory Co-Infections: A Retrospective Study

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Allergy

Introduction: Human Bocavirus (HBoV) is mainly associated with respiratory tract infections. However, its role as respiratory pathogen is not fully understood for a high co-infection rate in symptomatic patients and a significant HBoV detection rate in asymptomatic subjects. This study aimed to describe a large cohort of children with HBoV infection and to compare HBoV mono-infection and co-infections. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data from 165 children admitted to Meyer Children’s Hospital IRCCS from March 2022 to March 2023 with the diagnosis of HBoV infection, detected using Reverse Transcription qPCR from nasal swabs. Thereafter, we compared patients with HBoV mono-infection (Group A) and those with HBoV co-infections (Group B) in terms of disease severity, established by the length of stay (LOS), the requirement of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and advanced respiratory support (ARS). Results: The median age was 1.5 years; 80% of patients presented with respiratory symptoms. The discharge rate from the emergency department (ED) within 24 h was 42.4%. Most cases (57.6%) were hospitalized, and 7.3% were admitted to PICU due to respiratory failure. Group A comprised 69 patients, and Group B 96 children (95% viral co-infections, 2% bacterial, 3% viral and bacterial). Group A and Group B were similar in hospitalization rate but differed significantly in LOS (median 3 vs. 5 days) and requirement of PICU admission (0 vs. 12 patients, p < 0.001). Patients with a respiratory disease history (17.5%) showed significantly longer LOS and more necessity of inhaled bronchodilator therapy. Conclusions: HBoV should be considered a relevant respiratory pathogen especially in viral co-infections. Patients with HBoV co-infections have a higher risk of necessitating advanced respiratory support with more PICU admission and longer LOS; a previous respiratory disease puts them at a higher risk of longer hospitalization.

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