Surveillance for seasonal influenza virus prevalence in hospitalized children with lower respiratory tract infection in Guangzhou, China during the post-pandemic era.

Research paper by Wen Da WD Guan, Xiao Yan XY Gong, Chris Ka Pun CK Mok, Ting Ting TT Chen, Shi Guan SG Wu, Si Hua SH Pan, Benjamin John BJ Cowling, Zi Feng ZF Yang, De Hui de H Chen

Indexed on: 14 Apr '15Published on: 14 Apr '15Published in: PloS one


Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and B viruses have co-circulated in the human population since the swine-origin human H1N1 pandemic in 2009. While infections of these subtypes generally cause mild illnesses, lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) occurs in a portion of children and required hospitalization. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence of these three subtypes and compare the clinical manifestations in hospitalized children with LRTI in Guangzhou, China during the post-pandemic period.Children hospitalized with LRTI from January 2010 to December 2012 were tested for influenza A/B virus infection from their throat swab specimens using real-time PCR and the clinical features of the positive cases were analyzed.Of 3637 hospitalized children, 216 (5.9%) were identified as influenza A or B positive. Infection of influenza virus peaked around March in Guangzhou each year from 2010 to 2012, and there were distinct epidemics of each subtype. Influenza A(H3N2) infection was more frequently detected than A(H1N1)pdm09 and B, overall. The mean age of children with influenza A virus (H1N1/H3N2) infection was younger than those with influenza B (34.4 months/32.5 months versus 45 months old; p<0.005). Co-infections of influenza A/ B with mycoplasma pneumoniae were found in 44/216 (20.3%) children.This study contributes the understanding to the prevalence of seasonal influenza viruses in hospitalized children with LRTI in Guangzhou, China during the post pandemic period. High rate of mycoplasma pneumoniae co-infection with influenza viruses might contribute to severe disease in the hospitalized children.

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