Viruses in bronchiectasis: A pilot study to explore the presence of community acquired respiratory viruses in stable patients and during acute exacerbations

Publication Type:
Journal Article
BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 2018, 18 (1)
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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: Bronchiectasis is a chronic respiratory condition. Persistent bacterial colonisation in the stable state with increased and sometimes altered bacterial burden during exacerbations are accepted as key features in the pathophysiology. The extent to which respiratory viruses are present during stable periods and in exacerbations is less well understood. Methods: This study aimed to determine the incidence of respiratory viruses within a cohort of bronchiectasis patients with acute exacerbations at a teaching hospital and, separately, in a group of patients with stable bronchiectasis. In the group of stable patients, a panel of respiratory viruses were assayed for using real time quantitative PCR in respiratory secretions and exhaled breath. The Impact of virus detection on exacerbation rates and development of symptomatic infection was evaluated. Results: Routine hospital-based viral PCR testing was only requested in 28% of admissions for an exacerbation. In our cohort of stable bronchiectasis patients, viruses were detected in 92% of patients during the winter season, and 33% of patients during the summer season. In the 2-month follow up period, 2 of 27 patients presented with an exacerbation. Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrated that respiratory viruses are commonly detected in patients with stable bronchiectasis. They are frequently detected during asymptomatic viral periods, and multiple viruses are often present concurrently.
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