To understand the regional epidemiology and clinical characteristics of adenovirus pneumonia in hospitalized children during the 2019 outbreak of respiratory adenoviruses in China.
We analyzed the epidemiologic trend of adenovirus in children hospitalized for acute lower respiratory tract infections in Xiamen in 2019. Adenovirus was identified using direct fluorescent antibody detection. During the peak seasons of adenovirus epidemic, 170 adenovirus-positive specimens were obtained for molecular typing, and the clinical data were collected.
Among the 9890 children hospitalized for acute lower respiratory tract infection, 609 (6.2%) were tested positive for adenovirus. The detection rate of adenovirus was significantly higher in boys than in grils (9.5% vs. 4.6%, P < 0.05). Adenovirus activity increased markedly between April and August with the prevalence of 7.3%–12.4%. During the outbreak season, type 7 accounted for 70.6%, followed by type 3 (28.8%) and type 4 (0.6%). Of the 155 cases of adenovirus pneumonia, the median age was 3.0 years (range: 4 month to 9 years), 153 (98.7%) had fever with a mean fever duration of 9.04 ± 5.52 days, 28 (16.5%) had wheezing, 93 (60%) showed segmental or lobar consolidation with atelectasis and 13 (8.4%) showed pleural effusion. Forty-six (29.6%) cases developed severe pneumonia, 7 (4.1%) required mechanical ventilation and 2 (1.2%) died. Younger age, longer duration of fever and higher fever spike were more frequently seen in severe cases (P < 0.05). Twenty-five (16.2%) had C-reactive protein ≥ 40 mg/L, and 91 (58.7%) had procalcitonin ≥ 0.25 mg/L.
Adenovirus types 7 and 3 caused the outbreak of adenovirus pneumonia in community children during late spring to summer in 2019 in Xiamen. The majority of adenovirus pneumonia resembles bacterial pneumonia. The incidence of severe pneumonia was high when type 7 predominantly prevailed. Adenovirus type 7 was more common in severe cases than in nonsevere cases.