Journal Article

Asymptomatic Summertime Shedding of Respiratory Viruses

Jeffrey Shaman, Haruka Morita, Ruthie Birger, Mary Boyle, Devon Comito, Benjamin Lane, Chanel Ligon, Hannah Smith, Rob Desalle and Paul Planet

in The Journal of Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 217, issue 7, pages 1074-1077
Published in print March 2018 | ISSN: 0022-1899
Published online January 2018 | e-ISSN: 1537-6613 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jix685
Asymptomatic Summertime Shedding of Respiratory Viruses

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Abstract

To determine rates of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection among ambulatory adults, we collected nasopharyngeal swab specimens, demographic characteristics, and survey information from 1477 adult visitors to a New York City tourist attraction during April–July 2016. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis was used to identify specimens positive for common respiratory viruses. A total of 7.2% of samples tested positive for respiratory viruses; among positive samples, 71.0% contained rhinovirus, and 21.5% contained coronavirus. Influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus were also detected. Depending on symptomatologic definition, 57.7%–93.3% of positive samples were asymptomatic. These findings indicate that significant levels of asymptomatic respiratory viral shedding exist during summer among the ambulatory adult population.

Keywords: Asymptomatic infection; respiratory viruses; viral shedding; definition of symptomatic infection; common cold questionnaire

Journal Article.  2711 words. 

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

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