Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A molecular epidemiological study of respiratory viruses detected in Japanese children with acute wheezing illness

Asako Fujitsuka12, Hiroyuki Tsukagoshi3, Mika Arakawa4, Kazuko Goto-Sugai12, Akihide Ryo5, Yoshimichi Okayama6, Katsumi Mizuta7, Atsuyoshi Nishina8, Masakazu Yoshizumi3, Yoichi Kaburagi1, Masahiro Noda9, Masato Tashiro10, Nobuhiko Okabe11, Masaaki Mori2, Shumpei Yokota2 and Hirokazu Kimura113*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, National Hospital Organization Yokohama Medical Center, 3-60-2 Harajuku, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 245-8575, Japan

2 Department of Pediatrics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0004, Japan

3 Department of Health Science, Gunma Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Sciences, 378 Kamioki-machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma 371-0052, Japan

4 Department of Microbiology, Tochigi Prefectural Institute of Public Health, 2154-13 Shimo-okamoto, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi 329-1196, Japan

5 Department of Molecular Biodefence Research, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0004, Japan

6 Division of Molecular Cell Immunology and Allergology, Advanced Medical Research Center, Nihon University, Graduate School of Medical Science, 30-1 Oyaguchi-kamimachi, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan

7 Department of Microbiology, Yamagata Prefectural Institute of Public Health, 1-6-6 Toka-machi, Yamagata-shi, Yamagata 990-0031, Japan

8 Department of Health and Nutrition, Yamagata Prefectural Yonezawa Women's Junior College, 6-15-1Tori-machi, Yonezawa-shi, Yamagata 992-0025, Japan

9 Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan

10 Influenza Virus Research Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan

11 Infectious Disease Surveillance Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, 4-7-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama-shi, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:168  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-168

Published: 10 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Recent studies strongly suggest that some respiratory viruses are associated with the induction of acute wheezing and/or exacerbation of bronchial asthma. However, molecular epidemiology of these viruses is not exactly known.

Methods

Using PCR technology, we attempted to detect various respiratory viruses from 115 Japanese children. Furthermore, the detected viruses were subjected to homology, pairwise distance, and phylogenetic analysis.

Results

Viruses were detected from 99 (86.1%) patients. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) alone and human rhinovirus (HRV) alone were detected in 47 (40.9%) and 36 (31.3%) patients, respectively. Both RSV and HRV were detected in 14 (12.2%) patients. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) alone and human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) alone were detected in 1 (0.9%) patient each, respectively. Homology and phylogenetic analyses showed that the RSV and HRV strains were classified into genetically diverse species or subgroups. In addition, RSV was the dominant virus detected in patients with no history of wheezing, whereas HRV was dominant in patients with a history of wheezing.

Conclusions

The results suggested that these genetically diverse respiratory viruses, especially RSV and HRV, might be associated with wheezing in Japanese children.