Respiratory viral infections in patients with chronic, obstructive pulmonary disease

J. David Beckham, Ana Cadena, Jiejian Lin, Pedro A. Piedra, W. Paul Glezen, Stephen B. Greenberg, Robert L. Atmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to apply reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assays to clinical specimens collected from patients with acute respiratory illness and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: One hundred and ninety-four samples from two different study cohorts were analysed using RT-PCR assays for picornaviruses, coronaviruses 229E and OC43, influenza A and B viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza types 1-3 viruses, and human metapneumovirus and a PCR assay for adenoviruses. The results were added to results obtained previously using cell culture and serologic methods. Results: RT-PCR assays identified an additional 35 respiratory virus-as sociated illnesses not identified previously by cell culture or serology (n=46). Picornaviruses and coronaviruses were the most common viral infections identified only by RT-PCR. Overall, 41.8% of the acute respiratory illnesses evaluated were associated with a respiratory virus infection, with picornaviruses, coronaviruses and influenza viruses being the most common infections recognized. No human metapneumovirus infections were identified by RT-PCR assay. Conclusions: Respiratory viral infections are commonly associated with acute respiratory illness in COPD patients, and the use of RT-PCR assays significantly increases the ability to diagnose these infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-330
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Coronavirus
  • Exacerbation
  • Hospitalization
  • Human metapneumovirus
  • Influenza
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Respiratory viral infection
  • Rhinovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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