Background: Changes in the epidemiology of respiratory infections during the restrictions imposed as a response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have been reported elsewhere. The present study’s aim was to describe the prevalence of a large array of respiratory pathogens in symptomatic children and adolescents during the pandemic in Southern Brazil. Methods: Hospitalized and outpatients aged 2 months to 18 years with signs and symptoms of acute COVID-19 were prospectively enrolled in the study from May to November 2020 in two hospitals in a large metropolitan area in a Brazilian city. All participants performed a real-time PCR panel assessing 20 respiratory pathogens (three bacteria and 17 viruses). Results: 436 participants were included, with 45 of these hospitalized. Rhinovirus was the most prevalent pathogen (216/436) followed by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, 97/436), with a coinfection of these two viruses occurring in 31/436 participants. The remaining pathogens were found in 24 symptomatic participants (adenovirus, n = 6; Chlamydophila pneumoniae, n = 1; coronavirus NL63, n = 2; human enterovirus, n = 7; human metapneumovirus, n = 2; Mycoplasma pneumoniae, n = 6). Hospitalization was more common among infants (p = 0.004) and those with pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2 (p = 0.001). Conclusion: During the period of social distancing in response to COVID-19, the prevalence of most respiratory pathogens was unusually low. Rhinovirus remained as the main virus co-circulating with SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 in symptomatic children was less associated with hospitalization than with other respiratory infections in children and adolescents.

Fuente: Jornal de Pediatria
Available online 19 April 2022