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Volume 52, Number 2, April 2019

Molecular epidemiology and clinical features of adenovirus infection in Taiwanese children, 2014 

Gu-Lung Lin, Chun-Yi Lu, Jong-Min Chen, Ping-Ing Lee, Shu-Yuan Ho, Kuo-Chen Weng, Li-Min Huang, Luan-Yin Chang


Background and purpose: 

Human adenovirus (HAdV) infection is prevalent and has an important clinical impact on children. We aim to investigate the molecular epidemiology of HAdV infection and discover the correlations between clinical features and HAdV species in an HAdV outbreak of 2014. 



This is a retrospective study, enrolling patients under 19 years of age with HAdV infection at the National Taiwan University Hospital in 2014. We gathered the demographic and clinical data, carried out molecular typing and constructed a phylogenetic tree. Statistical analyses were performed in terms of HAdV species and hospitalization. 



A total of 531 patients with HAdV infection were identified. HAdV-B accounted for the largest proportion (n = 387, 73%). On average, patients infected with HAdV-E were oldest, whereas those with HAdV-C infection were youngest (p < 0.001). Patients with HAdV-B (HAdV-3) infection were associated with a lower incidence of co-infection with other viruses (p < 0.001). Complications occurred in 203 (38%) patients. There were 149 (28%) patients requiring hospitalization. The risk factors for hospitalization included underlying neurological abnormalities, prematurity and the diagnosis of pneumonia. Five patients (1%) had severe HAdV infection requiring intensive care; all of them fully recovered. The phylogenetic study showed that the partial hexon genes of HAdV-1, HAdV-3, HAdV-4 and HAdV-5 remain stable over time. 



We established the molecular epidemiology of HAdV infection and demonstrated the relationship between clinical features and HAdV species. 


Key words:

Complications; Human adenoviruses; Molecular epidemiology; PediatricsMolecular typing