Indexed on: 25 Mar '08Published on: 25 Mar '08Published in: The Pediatric infectious disease journal
The aim of the study was to assess Torquetenovirus (TTV) loads within respiratory ciliated cells and to verify the existence of a correlation between TTV loads and functional or structural ciliary abnormalities, in a group of children with recurrent or persistent pneumonia.Nasal brushing samples of 55 children (28 male) were evaluated for ciliary motion and ultrastructural assessment, as well as for detection and quantification of TTV. Moreover, presence and load of TTV within ciliated cells, obtained from 5 patients by laser capture microdissection, were determined.The nasal samples of 47 (85%) children with persistent or recurrent pneumonia resulted positive for TTV (loads = 2.1-7.3 log10 copies/microg total DNA). TTV were demonstrated also within microdissected ciliated cells. No significant difference between primary (11 subjects) and secondary ciliary dyskinesia (44 subjects) for TTV prevalence and mean loads were found. A significant correlation was observed between nasal TTV loads and ciliary beat frequency score (r = 0.305; P < 0.05), but not between TTV loads and presence of abnormal motion patterns, in patients with secondary ciliary abnormalities. As expected no correlations were found between nasal TTV loads and ciliary motion analysis in primary ciliary dyskinesia.The presence of TTV in nasal samples demonstrates TTV ability to infect respiratory ciliated cells and suggests that these cells are potentially able to support virus replication. Moreover, TTV may behave in respiratory cells in a similar way to other viruses, that is, they disrupt the mucociliary escalator.