Journal Article

Detection of the New Human Coronavirus HKU1: A Report of 6 Cases

Astrid Vabret, Julia Dina, Stéphanie Gouarin, Joëlle Petitjean, Sandrine Corbet and François Freymuth

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 42, issue 5, pages 634-639
Published in print March 2006 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2006 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/500136
Detection of the New Human Coronavirus HKU1: A Report of 6 Cases

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Background. Human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1), a new group 2 coronavirus, was first characterized in 2005 from 2 adults with pneumonia in Hong Kong, China. To the best of our knowledge, there is no other report to date about the detection of this new virus. We report a molecular method allowing for the detection of HCoV-HKU1 and also report the clinical presentation of 6 infected patients.

Methods. We screened 141 specimens (135 nasal samples and 6 stool samples) received in February and March 2005 in our laboratory and obtained from 135 hospitalized patients (61.5% of whom were <5 years old and 34.1% of whom were >20 years old) for HCoV-HKU1.

Results. HCoV-HKU1 was detected in 6 (4.4%) of the 135 nasal specimens and in 2 (33.3%) of the 6 stool samples; the positive samples were obtained from 6 patients (5 children and 1 adult). The clinical presentation of these 6 patients was as follows: 3 were admitted to the hospital for acute enteric disease resulting in severe dehydration associated with upper respiratory symptoms; 1 had fever, otitis, and febrile seizure; 1 had a sample obtained to investigate failure to thrive; and 1 had a sample obtained for exploration of X-linked agammaglobulinemia and hyperleucocytosis.

Conclusion. HCoV-HKU1 can be detected in respiratory and stool samples from children and adults in a part of the world other than Hong Kong. Our results suggest that HCoV-HKU1 could be associated with respiratory and enteric diseases, and its detection can be related to a persistent asymptomatic infection in patients with poor underlying conditions.

Journal Article.  3131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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