Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a pathogen classified within the genus Bocavirus of the Parvoviridae family, first discovered in respiratory tract specimen from Swedish children. It was then found among patients with respiratory illness in other parts of the world (Albuquerque, et. al., 1).
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A study was made to see whether HBoV causes gastrointestinal disease as other Parvoviridae does among animals.
From January 2003 through December 2005, stool specimens were collected from 705 Brazilian children suffering from acute diarrhea. Children were less than 15 years of age, 314 (44.5%) of which were less than 2 years old, 190 (27%) were 2–5 years old, 120 (17%) were 6-10 years old, 61 (8.6%) were 11–15 years old, and 21 were unknown. Specimens were collected from 3 cities in Brazil with different sanitation conditions and socioeconomic background (Albuquerque, et. al., 2).
To confirm the presence of HBoV, DNA was screened by PCR. DNA sequences of the positive samples were arranged and analyzed.
Fourteen (2%) of 705 samples were tested positive for HBoV. Of the 14 HBoV affected patients, 11 were less than 2 years old, one was 3 years old, one was 11, and the other was 15 years old. More boys were affected than girls (Albuquerque, et. al., 3).
The specimens were earlier tested for other enteric viruses and bacteria such as rotavirus, norovirus, astrovirus, adenovirus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter spp., and Shigella spp.. Results show that 84 samples out of the 705 (11.9%) contained rotavitus, 34 samples (4.8%) contained adenovirus, 24 samples (3.4%) are affected with norovirus, and 2 samples (0.3%) had astrovirus. Enteropathogenic bacteria were also found in 57 samples. On the other hand, potential pathogens, including HBoV, were found in 30.5% of the samples (Albuquerque, et. al., 3).
Of the 705 specimens, only 3 (21.4%) are infected with both HBoV and enteric viruses. All 14 HBoV-positive patients had diarrhea, but surprisingly, none exhibited any respiratory illness. A previous study by Vicente et. al. among children suffering from gastroenteritis showed 58.3% coinfection of HBoV and other intestinal pathogens (Albuquerque, et. al., 3).
Complications were exhibited by 4 of the HBoV-positive patients, two suffered from fever, one experienced vomiting, and one had bloody diarrhea. One patient was undergoing dialysis, while the oldest male participant was found to be HIV positive (Albuquerque, et. al., 3).
Studies are still being conducted to determine the full sequence of this DNA. And although findings hint that the virus reproduce in the human gut, there is no enough evidence on the relationship between the HBoV infection and gastroenteritis (Albuquerque, et. al., 4).
Albuquerque, M.C.M. et al. “Human bocavirus infection in children with Gastroenteritis, Brazil.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2007. Web.