Among individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), pulmonary complications are the most frequent cause of morbidity and mortality. Although bacterial and fungal pathogens are well-described etiologies of lung disease, the role of respiratory viruses remains poorly understood. We sought to describe the burden of respiratory viral illness in HIV-infected inpatients admitted to our tertiary care center.
All HIV-infected inpatients from August 2015 to March 2018 were approached if they presented with respiratory symptoms, defined as cough, dyspnea, sore throat, rhinorrhea, wheezing, or stridor. Eighty patients were enrolled. After obtaining informed consent, nasopharyngeal swabs and blood were collected. If the subject underwent bronchoscopy per the treating physician, excess bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sample was collected. Demographic and clinical data were recorded for each subject. Multiplex PCR testing of all respiratory samples was performed.
Of the 70 HIV-infected patients that have undergone complete analysis, 23 (33%) tested positive for respiratory viruses. Of these, 11 (48%) were positive for rhinovirus, 3 were positive for influenza A (13%), 2 for parainfluenza 3 (9%), 2 for coronavirus (9%) and one each tested positive for adenovirus, parainfluenza 4, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza B. One patient had co-infection with rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus.
Patients infected with a respiratory virus had severe illness as nearly half (10/23; 48%) required intensive care, 5 (22%) required mechanical ventilation, 4 (17%) were discharged to a higher level of care, and 3 (13%) died.
The role of respiratory viruses on the lung health of HIV infected patients is poorly defined. In this study, respiratory viruses were identified in over a third of HIV-infected inpatients, representing a substantial disease burden. Moreover, these patients demonstrated significant disease severity. Given these findings, there is a need for future studies of viral infections in HIV-infected individuals to elucidate mechanisms of susceptibility to reduce the burden of pulmonary morbidity in this vulnerable population.
D. A. Wohl, None
M. Miller, None
D. Dittmer, None
W. Fischer II, None
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