Pediatric Bocavirus Clinical Presentation

Updated: Jan 16, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, FAAP, MA(Cantab); Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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  • No distinction between confirmed, apparently isolated bocavirus-associated disease and any other nonspecific viral respiratory infection has been established.

  • The most consistently reported symptoms include cough, fever, and rhinorrhea.

  • A higher-than-expected rate of GI symptoms has been noted, with as many as 25% of patients experiencing some form of gastroenteritis. Other known pathogens were detected along with human bocavirus in 58% of stool samples in one study from Spain. [24] HBoV2 has been detected at a high frequency (17.2%) in stool samples of children with acute gastroenteritis, but also in a significant number (8.1%) of healthy controls. [6]

  • Several reports of isolated human bocavirus in patients with wheezing episodes suggest that it primarily causes obstructive respiratory disease, is a secondary inflammatory response (similar to respiratory syncytial virus), or acts as a trigger to patients who are susceptible to reactive airways, such as those with preexisting asthma.



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  • The physical examination findings are similar to those of a typical viral respiratory infection.

  • Patients with more severe lower respiratory tract disease may have wheezing, tachypnea, grunting (in younger children), and use of accessory muscles.

  • Children with severe gastroenteritis may show signs of dehydration: poor skin turgor, sunken eyes, lethargy. A decrease in urine output (manifesting as fewer wet diapers in young infants) and a lack of tears when crying may be noticed.