Multiplex PCR Detection of Respiratory Tract Infections in SARS-CoV-2-Negative Patients Admitted to the Emergency Department: an International Multicenter Study during the COVID-19 Pandemic

RP21 Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Respiratory tract infection (RTI) is a common cause of visits to the hospital emergency department. During the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), nonpharmaceutical intervention has influenced the rates of circulating respiratory viruses. In this study, we sought to detect RTI etiological agents other than SARS-CoV-2 in emergency department patients from 13 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from December 2020 to March 2021. We sought to measure the impact of patient characteristics and national-level behavioral restrictions on the positivity rate for RTI agents. Using the BioFire Respiratory Panel 2.0 Plus, 1,334 nasopharyngeal swabs from patients with RTI symptoms who were negative for SARS-CoV-2 were tested. The rate of positivity for viral or bacterial targets was 36.3%. Regarding viral targets, human rhinovirus or enterovirus was the most prevalent (56.5%), followed by human coronaviruses (11.0%) and adenoviruses (9.9%). Interestingly, age stratification showed that the positivity rate was significantly higher in the children's group than in the adults' group (68.8% versus 28.2%). In particular, human rhinovirus or enterovirus, the respiratory syncytial virus, and other viruses, such as the human metapneumovirus, were more frequently detected in children than in adults. A logistic regression model was also used to determine an association between the rate of positivity for viral agents with each country's behavioral restrictions or with patients' age and sex. Despite the impact of behavioral restrictions, various RTI pathogens were actively circulating, particularly in children, across the 13 countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • emergency department
  • multiplex PCR assay
  • respiratory tract infection
  • viral infection

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