An Intensive, Active Surveillance Reveals Continuous Invasion and High Diversity of Rhinovirus in Households

Kamau E, Onyango CO, Otieno GP, Kiyuka PK, Agoti CN, Medley GF, Cane PA, Nokes DJ, Munywoki PK
J Infect Dis. 2019;219

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We report on infection patterns in 5 households (78 participants) delineating the natural history of human rhinovirus (HRV). Nasopharyngeal collections were obtained every 3-4 days irrespective of symptoms, over a 6-month period, with molecular screening for HRV and typing by sequencing VP4/VP2 junction. Overall, 311/3468 (8.9%) collections were HRV positive: 256 were classified into 3 species: 104 (40.6%) HRV-A; 14 (5.5%) HRV-B, and 138 (53.9%) HRV-C. Twenty-six known HRV types (13 HRV-A, 3 HRV-B, and 10 HRV-C) were identified (A75, C1, and C35 being most frequent). We observed continuous invasion and temporal clustering of HRV types in households (range 5-13 over 6 months). Intrahousehold transmission was independent of clinical status but influenced by age. Most (89.0%) of HRV infection episodes were limited to <14 days. Individual repeat infections were frequent (range 1-7 over 6 months), decreasing with age, and almost invariably heterotypic, indicative of lasting type-specific immunity and low cross-type protection.