Print E-mail
Volume 50, Number 4, August 2017

Risk factor analysis and molecular epidemiology of respiratory adenovirus infections among children in northern Taiwan, 2009–2013 

Jia Lu Cheng, Chun-Chih Peng, Nan-Chang Chiu, Li-Chuan Weng, Yu-Ying Chiu, Lung Chang, Daniel Tsung-Ning Huang, Fu-Yuan Huang, Chang-Pan Liu, Hsin Chi


Corresponding author:

Hsin Chi, Correspondence
Corresponding author. Department of Pediatrics, Mackay Memorial Hospital, 92 Section 2, Chung-Shan North Road, Taipei, 10449, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Respiratory infections caused by human adenoviruses (HAdV) are worldwide, and have significantly increased recently in Taiwan. This study aimed to clarify the molecular epidemiology and risk factors of HAdV severe infections and pneumonia among Taiwanese children. 



Patients with HAdV infections and hospitalized in a medical center between 2009 and 2013 were divided into severe or nonsevere HAdV infections based on whether or not they received intensive care. HAdV pneumonia was identified for comparison. The HAdV genotype was determined by sequencing the partial hexon and fiber genes. The nucleotide sequences were compared by phylogenetic analysis. 



The 176 patients (97 boys, 79 girls) had a median age of 3.7 years. The HAdV infections circulated year-round. HAdV B3 (54.5%) was the most common genotype, followed by HAdV C2 (21%), HAdV E4 (8%), and HAdV B7 (6.8%). Thirty-two patients needed intensive care. In multivariate analysis, the risk factors for severe HAdV infections were underlying neurologic diseases [odds ratio (OR): 164.9; p < 0.001], prematurity (OR: 10.9; p = 0.042), and HAdV B7 (OR: 39.5; p = 0.011). Twenty-nine patients had HAdV pneumonia. Patients with underlying neurologic diseases (OR 76.8; p < 0.001), airway anomaly (OR 15.1; p = 0.033), chronic lung diseases (OR 12.5; p = 0.047), weight < 3rd percentile (OR 5.5; p = 0.027), and HAdV B7 (OR 4.2; p = 0.002) had higher incidences of pneumonia. Four with underlying neurologic diseases died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.




HAdV infections circulate all year-round. HAdV B7 is strongly related to severe infections and pneumonia. Underlying neurologic diseases and prematurity are risk factors for severe HAdV infections. 


Key words:

adenovirus, children, genotypes, pneumonia, severe infection