To determine the frequency of viral pathogens causing upper respiratory tract infections in non-hospitalized, symptomatic adults in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Respiratory samples (nasal/throat swabs) were collected between August 2010 and November 2012 and real time PCR was used to detect different viral pathogens.
Viruses were detected in 32.1% (43/134) of samples from 101 patients. Specifically, 9% (12/134) were positive for HBoV, 8.2% (11/134) were positive for HAdV, 5.2% (7/134) were positive for HRV, and 1.5% (2/134) were positive for FLUBV or HMPV, as single infections. HRSV-A, HPIV-3, and HCoV-HKU1 were detected in one (0.75%) sample each. Co-infections were detected in 4.8% (6/134) of the samples. Peaks of viral infections were observed in March, April, May, August, and October. However, positive samples were detected all year round. Only 23.3% (10/43) of the positive samples were collected from patients with febrile illness.
Results presented in this report suggest that respiratory viral infections are largely under diagnosed in immunocompetent adults. Although the majority of young adult infections are not life-threatening they may impose a significant burden, especially in developing countries since these individuals represent a large fraction of the working force.