Human parainfluenza virus in patients with influenza-like illness from Central and South America during 2006–2010


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Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) are common viral causes of community-acquired pneumonia, particularly in children. The four types of HPIV have world-wide distribution; however, limited information exists about the epidemiological profile of HPIV in Latin-America.


Provide epidemiologic and phylogenetic information about HPIVs that circulated in Latin America between 2006 and 2010 to better characterize the extent and variability of this respiratory virus in the region.


Oropharyngeal swabs, demographic data and clinical characteristics were obtained from individuals with influenza-like illness in 10 Latin-American countries between 2006–2010. Specimens were analyzed with culture and molecular methods.


A total of 30 561 individuals were enrolled; 991 (3·2%) were HPIV positive. Most infected participants were male (53·7%) and under 5 years of age (68·7%). The HPIV type most frequently isolated was HPIV-3 (403, 40·7%). In 66/2007 (3·3%) hospitalized individuals, HPIV was identified. The most frequent symptoms at enrollment were cough and rhinorrhea. We identified certain patterns for HPIV-1, -2 and -3 in specific cities. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a homogeneous distribution in the region.


In the current scenario, no vaccine or treatment is available for this pathogen. Our results contribute to the scarce epidemiologic and phylogenetic information of HPIV in the region that could support the development of specific management.