Virus infections among young children—the first year of the INDIS study

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The frequencies of early childhood infections were studied in healthy children with increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes participating in the ongoing prospective high intensive infection follow-up Study, INDIS, started in 2009 in Turku, Finland. Here the results obtained from 160 stool to 160 nasal swab specimens collected in parallel at times of infectious symptoms in 2009–2010 from 45 children at the age of 24 months or younger are reported. The specimens were analyzed for enteric (human enterovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, sapovirus, astrovirus) and respiratory RNA viruses (human enterovirus and rhinovirus) common in early childhood, respectively, using highly validated virus-specific real-time PCR methods. According to the results 96% of the children had at least one virus infection during the study period and one or several viral agents were detected in 76% of sample sets. The most prevalent viral agents were human rhinovirus, enterovirus, parechovirus, and norovirus (genotype GII) with positive specimens 57.5%, 28.8%, 19.4%, and 6.9%, respectively. Other intestinal viruses were found in less than 2% of stool specimens. Single infections covered 40.0% of the specimens while multiple infections with two or more infectious agents were detected in 36.3% of specimens and altogether 11 combinations of viruses were included in the mixed infections. Although human enterovirus is known to be a frequent finding in stool specimens, especially during early childhood, it was found in this study more frequently in nasal swab specimens. Whether this is true, more general, in countries with the high hygiene level remains to be shown. J. Med. Virol. 85:1678–1684, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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