Open Access Research article

Detection of human bocavirus from children and adults with acute respiratory tract illness in Guangzhou, southern China

Wen-Kuan Liu12, De-Hui Chen2, Qian Liu12, Huan-Xi Liang12, Zi-Feng Yang12, Sheng Qin12 and Rong Zhou12*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Diseases, Guangzhou Medical University, 1 Kang Da Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510230, China

2 The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, 151 Yan Jiang Road, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510230, China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:345  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-345

Published: 14 December 2011



Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a newly discovered parvovirus associated with acute respiratory tract illness (ARTI) and gastrointestinal illness. Our study is the first to analyze the characteristics of HBoV-positive samples from ARTI patients with a wide age distribution from Guangzhou, southern China.


Throat swabs (n=2811) were collected and analyzed from children and adults with ARTI over a 13-month period. The HBoV complete genome from a 60 year-old female patient isolate was also determined.


HBoV DNA was detected in 65/2811 (2.3%) samples, of which 61/1797 were from children (<18 years old) and 4/1014 from adults (≥18 years old). Seasonal peaks of 4.8% and 7.7% were detected in May and June, respectively. 28 of 65 (43.1%) HBoV-positive samples were co-detected with 11/16 other potential pathogens. Mycoplasma pneumoniae had the highest frequency of 16.9% (11/65). Upper and lower respiratory tract illness were common symptoms, with 19/65 (29.2%) patients diagnosed with pneumonia by chest radiography. All four adult patients had systemic influenza-like symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome revealed a close relationship with other HBoVs, and a more distant relationship with HBoV2 and HBoV3.


HBoV was detected from children and adults with ARTI from Guangzhou, southern China. Elderly people were also susceptive to HBoV. A single lineage of HBoV was detected among a wide age distribution of patients with ARTI.