Background: Viral respiratory infections are a common cause of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) and asthma. We conducted a multicenter prospective study to determine the differences in the spectrum of viruses between adults with asthma exacerbations and AECOPD and assessed the prevalence and impact of human rhinovirus (HRV)-C in adults, which is more pathogenic in children with asthma than other HRV species. Methods: Nasopharyngeal and serum samples and clinical information were collected from 64 outpatients with adult asthma exacerbations and 44 outpatients with AECOPD between April 2018 and March 2020. Viral pathogens and HRV strains were identified from nasal samples by multiplex PCR and VP4/VP2 nested PCR. Results: Viral pathogens were identified in 31 patients with asthma exacerbations (48.4%) and 17 patients with AECOPD (38.6%). The most commonly detected viruses were HRV/enterovirus followed by human metapneumovirus (hMPV) in patients with asthma exacerbations, and hMPV followed by parainfluenza virus in patients with AECOPD. HRV-C was the HRV species most commonly associated with both asthma exacerbations and AECOPD. Clinical characteristics, baseline lung function, serum inflammatory chemokines, hospitalization, and systemic steroid use did not differ between HRV-C-positive patients and those positive for other HRV species. Conclusions: Exacerbation-associated spectrum of viruses differed between adults with asthma exacerbations and AECOPD. HRV-C was the HRV species most often observed in adult asthma exacerbations and AECOPD, although it did not worsen patients’ clinical outcomes relative to those of patients with other HRVs. Underlying disease-specific factors may be responsible for susceptibility to respiratory viruses. Trial registration: UMIN-CTR UMIN000031934.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine