Respiratory Viruses in Febrile Neutropenic Patients with Respiratory Symptoms

Document Type : Original Article


1 Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan; Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Respiratory infections are a frequent cause of fever in neutropenic patients, whereas respiratory viral infections are not frequently considered as a diagnosis, which causes high morbidity and mortality in these patients. Materials and Methods: This prospective study was performed on 36 patients with neutropenia who admitted to hospital were eligible for inclusion with fever (single temperature of >38.3°C or a sustained temperature of >38°C for more than 1 h), upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Sampling was performed from the throat of the patient by the sterile swab. All materials were analyzed by quantitative real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction covering the following viruses; influenza, parainfluenza virus (PIV), rhinovirus (RV), human metapneumovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Results: RV was the most frequently detected virus and then RSV was the most. PIV was not present in any of the tested samples. Furthermore, no substantial differences in the distribution of specific viral species were observed based on age, sex, neutropenia duration, hematological disorder, and respiratory tract symptoms and signs (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Our prospective study supports the hypothesis that respiratory viruses play an important role in the development of neutropenic fever, and thus has the potential to individualize infection treatment and to reduce the extensive use of antibiotics in immunocompromised patients with neutropenia.


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