Detection of human bocavirus in hospitalised children


Dr Julia Dina, Laboratory of Virology, University Hospital of Caen Avenue Georges Clemenceau, 14033 Caen cedex, France. Fax: +0033 231 27 25 57; email:,


Aim:  The objectives of this study are to assess the frequency of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in hospitalised children and to study the clinical symptoms associated with the detection of HBoV.

Methods:  Two groups of hospitalised children were included in this study: group 1 consisted of 1946 children hospitalised from 1st September 2004 to 30th May 2005, and group 2 consisted of 448 children hospitalised from 1st November 2003 to 30th March 2004. The respiratory specimens were tested by polymerase chain reaction.

Results:  In the first group, HBoV was detected by polymerise chain reaction in 11/828 (1.3%) of nasal specimens that tested negative for other respiratory viruses. One child tested positive for HBoV in both a nasal aspirate and stool sample. In the second group, nasal specimens were tested for all respiratory viruses, including HBoV. The presence of HBoV infection was detected in seven children (1.6%). Detection of a mixed viral population was observed in four of these children. The main symptoms in children infected with HBoV were rhinitis (50%), cough (45%), dyspnoea (28%), wheezing (28%), fever (23%) and diarrhoea (22%). The final clinical diagnoses were bronchiolitis (seven children), rhinopharyngitis (five children), the exacerbation of asthma (two children) and pneumonia (one child). Moreover, four children have associated gastroenteritis.

Conclusion:  These results contribute to the interest in the HBoV detection in children. HBoV detection in hospitalised children with or without any other respiratory virus detection was essentially associated with lower respiratory tract infection and in a lower score with upper respiratory tract infection and gastroenteritis.