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The Molecular Epidemiology and Clinical Phylogenetics of Rhinoviruses among Paediatric Cases in Sydney, Australia.
  • +3
  • Dillon Adam,
  • Xin Chen,
  • Matthew Scotch,
  • C. Raina MacIntyre,
  • Dominic Dwyer,
  • Jen Kok
Dillon Adam
UNSW
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Xin Chen
UNSW
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Matthew Scotch
Arizona State University
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C. Raina MacIntyre
University of New South Wales
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Dominic Dwyer
Westmead Hospital
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Jen Kok
Westmead Hospital
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Abstract

Background Rhinoviruses (RV) represent the most common aetiological agent of all acute respiratory tract infections across all age groups and a significant burden of disease among children. Recent studies have shown that RV-A and RV-C species are associated with varying degrees of disease severity and clinical symptoms. Methods In this study, we uncovered potential associations between RV species and subtypes, and clinical disease severity using a matched dataset of 52 RV isolates sampled from children (<18 years) in Sydney, Australia between 2006 and 2009 using epidemiological and phylogenetic methods. Results We found that RV-C was significantly more likely to be isolated from paediatric cases under two years of age compared to RV-A, although no significant differences in recorded symptoms were observed. Significant phylogenetic-trait associations between age and the VP4/VP2 capsid protein phylogeny suggests age-specific variations in infectivity among subtypes might also be possible. Conclusions This study adds to the growing body of epidemiological evidence concerning RV. Improving surveillance and testing for RV, including routine whole genome sequencing may improve our understanding of the varied diseashe outcomes of RV species and subtypes. Future studies could aim to identify specific genetic markers associated with age-specific infectivity of RV which could inform treatment practices and public health surveillance of RV.