• Acute gastroenteritis;
  • Children;
  • Human bocavirus;
  • Polymerase chain reaction


Aim:  Recently identified human bocavirus (HBoV) types 2 and 3 have been associated with acute gastroenteritis in children. We studied 878 stool specimens from children with acute gastroenteritis and 112 controls (43 children with unspecified fever, 33 with respiratory tract infection and 36 healthy children) for known HBoVs. The same specimens were previously studied for rotaviruses, noroviruses, sapoviruses, adenoviruses, coronaviruses and aichivirus.

Methods:  HBoVs were detected by PCR and positive amplicons were sequenced to identify HBoV1, HBoV2, HBoV3 and HBoV4.

Results:  HBoV of any type was found in 85 (9.7%) cases of acute gastroenteritis and in 6 (5.4%) controls. HBoV1 was detected in 49 (5.6%) cases and 2 (1.8%) controls, HBoV2 in 29 (3.3%) cases and 2 (1.8%) controls and HBoV3 in 8 (0.9%) cases and 2 (1.8%) controls. No HBoV4 was found. HBoV as a single infection was found in 16 (1.8%) cases and in 6 (5.4%) controls; in the remaining cases, a known gastroenteritis virus was also found. Among the single HBoV infections, HBoV2 was the most common type with 8 (50%) cases.

Conclusion:  HBoVs are rarely found alone in children with acute gastroenteritis. Further studies are warranted to confirm a possible specific association of HBoV2 with gastroenteritis.