Pediatric Bocavirus Workup

Updated: Jan 16, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

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  • At this time, no testing tools for human bocavirus are readily available outside of the research setting.

  • Because no evidence suggests that human bocavirus contributes to a particular clinical outcome that requires additional therapy (and because no specific therapy is available), testing for human bocavirus is not necessary.

  • Research tools that have been used include the following:

    • DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from nasopharyngeal aspirates and swabs

    • DNA PCR from peripheral blood

    • Electron microscopy of nasopharyngeal aspirates

  • Preliminary studies have been performed to enable serologic detection of human bocavirus infection.

  • Human bocavirus does not replicate in existing viral culture systems, but a report of successful culture in differentiated human respiratory epithelial cells has been made. [9] Peripheral WBC counts are generally normal (< 16,000/mL, with an average of approximately 10,000/mL). A raised C-reactive protein level has been occasionally noted but is not consistent. [11, 25, 26]

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Imaging Studies

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  • Children who have had bocavirus detected during respiratory illness have been reported to have more focal chest radiography findings than are typically seen in most viral pneumonias (eg, bronchopneumonia or lobar consolidation) as opposed to findings typically seen in a diffuse interstitial pneumonia.

  • Chest radiography findings are often abnormal; this may be a feature of sample bias because children who are more ill are the ones who have been tested for bocavirus in most studies (ie, those children ill enough to be hospitalized).

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