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Frequency and clinical relevance of human bocavirus infection in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Ringshausen FC, Tan A, Allander T, Borg I, Arinir U, Kronsbein J, Hauptmeier B, Schultze-Werninghaus G, Rohde G

Published 4 February 2009 Volume 2009:4 Pages 111—117


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Felix C Ringshausen1, Ai-Yui M Tan1, Tobias Allander2, Irmgard Borg1, Umut Arinir1, Juliane Kronsbein1, Barbara M Hauptmeier1, Gerhard Schultze-Werninghaus1, Gernot Rohde1

1Clinical Research Group “Significance of viral infections in chronic respiratory diseases of children and adults,” University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Department of Internal Medicine III–Pneumology, Allergology and Sleep Medicine, Bochum, Germany; 2Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, and Department of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

Objective: Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a recently discovered parvovirus associated with acute respiratory tract infections in children. The objective of the present study was to determine the frequency and clinical relevance of HBoV infection in adult patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AE-COPD).

Methods: We retrospectively tested 212 COPD patients, 141 (66.5%) with AE-COPD and 71 (33.5%) with stable disease, of whom nasal lavage and induced sputum had been obtained for the presence of HBoV deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The specificity of positive polymerase chain reaction results was confirmed by sequencing.

Results: Two hundred two of 212 patients for whom PCR results were available both for nasal lavage and induced sputum samples were eligible for data analysis. HBoV DNA was detected in three patients (1.5%). Of those, only one patient had AE-COPD. Thus, the frequency of HBoV infection demonstrated to be low in both AE-COPD (0.8%) and stable COPD (2.9%). HBoV was found in two sputum and one nasal lavage sample in different patients, respectively. Sequencing revealed >99% sequence identity with the reference strain.

Conclusion: HBoV detection was infrequent. Since we detected HBoV in both upper and lower respiratory tract specimens and in AE-COPD as well as stable disease, a major role of HBoV infection in adults with AE-COPD is unlikely.

Keywords: acute exacerbation, acute respiratory tract infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emerging respiratory virus, epidemiology, human bocavirus

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