Author(s): Monto AS
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Rhinoviruses are the most common cause of acute respiratory infections. Isolation of rhinoviruses occurs in a distinct and consistent seasonal pattern that can be used to help determine whether an acute respiratory illness is caused by a rhinovirus. OBJECTIVE: This article reviews information on the seasonality of rhinovirus infection derived from early and recent studies of rhinovirus occurrence and treatment. METHODS: PubMed was searched from 1965 to the present to identify all potentially relevant papers. The search terms used were rhinovirus and seasonality. A total of 1998 papers were screened. RESULTS: Rhinoviruses comprise more than three quarters of viruses circulating in early autumn. In some years and perhaps some geographic areas, spring is an even more important time for rhinovirus transmission. Although overall rates of respiratory illness are lower in summer, rhinoviruses are the most frequently isolated virus at this time of year. Other viral agents, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus (particularly with parainfluenza virus), predominate in the winter. Thus, for most of the year, rhinoviruses are the cause of the majority of acute viral respiratory infections. CONCLUSION: Understanding the seasonal incidence of rhinovirus infection may help determine how best to employ currently available antirhinoviral agents in patients presenting with symptoms of an acute viral respiratory infection.
This article was published in Clin Ther
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals