Enhanced Neutralizing Antibody Responses to Rhinovirus C and Age-Dependent Patterns of Infection.

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American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine


RATIONALE: Rhinovirus C (RV-C) can cause asymptomatic infection and respiratory illnesses ranging from the common cold to severe wheezing.

OBJECTIVES: To identify how age and other individual-level factors are associated with susceptibility to RV-C illnesses.

METHODS: Longitudinal data from the Childhood Origins of ASThma (COAST) birth cohort study were analyzed to determine relationships between age and RV-C infections. Neutralizing antibodies specific for rhinovirus A (RV-A) and RV-C (3 types each) were determined using a novel polymerase chain reaction-based assay. We pooled data from 14 study cohorts in the United States, Finland, and Australia and used mixed-effects logistic regression to identify factors related to the proportion of RV-C versus RV-A detection.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: In COAST, RV-A and RV-C infections were similarly common in infancy, while RV-C was detected much less often than RV-A during both respiratory illnesses and scheduled surveillance visits (p<0.001, chi-square) in older children. The prevalence of neutralizing antibodies to RV-A or RV-C types was low (5%-27%) at age 2 years, but by age 16, RV-C seropositivity was more prevalent (78% vs. 18% for RV-A, p<0.0001). In the pooled analysis, the RV-C to RV-A detection ratio during illnesses was significantly related to age (p<0.0001), CDHR3 genotype (p<0.05), and wheezing illnesses (p<0.05). Furthermore, certain RV types (e.g., C2, C11, A78, A12) were consistently more virulent and prevalent over time.

DISCUSSION: Knowledge of prevalent RV types, antibody responses, and populations at risk based on age and genetics may guide the development of vaccines or other novel therapies against this important respiratory pathogen.

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ePub ahead of print