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Molecular epidemiology of influenza, RSV, and other respiratory infections among children in Qatar: A six years report (2012–2017)

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-06-11, 06:47 and posted on 2024-06-11, 08:58 authored by Hamad E. Al-Romaihi, Maria K. Smatti, Hebah A. Al-Khatib, Peter V. Coyle, Nandakumar Ganesan, Shazia Nadeem, Elmoubasher A. Farag, Asmaa A. Al Thani, Abdullatif Al Khal, Khalid M. Al Ansari, Muna A. Al Maslamani, Hadi M. Yassine

Background Studies on the etiology of respiratory infections among children in Qatar and surrounding countries are limited. Objectives To describe the prevalence and seasonality of RSV, influenza, and other respiratory pathogens among children in Qatar. Methods We retrospectively collected and analyzed data of 33,404 children (<15 years) presented with influenza-like illness from 2012 to 2017. Results At least one respiratory pathogen was detected in 26,138 (78%) of patients. Together, human rhinoviruses (HRV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and influenza viruses comprised nearly two-thirds of all cases, affecting 24%, 19.7%, and 18.5%, respectively. A prevalence of 5-10% was recorded for adenovirus, parainfluenza viruses (PIVs), human bocavirus (HboV), and human coronaviruses (HCoVs). Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), enteroviruses, M. pneumonia, and parechovirus had prevalences below 5%. While RSV, influenza, and HMPV exhibited strong seasonal activity in the winter, HRV was active during low RSV and influenza circulation. The burden of RSV exceeds that of influenza among young age groups, whereas influenza correlated positively with age. Further, HRV, adenovirus, influenza, and RSV infection rates varied significantly between male and females. Conclusion This comprehensive multi-year study provides insights into the etiology of ILI among children in Qatar, which represents the Gulf region. Our results reinforce the significance of active surveillance of respiratory pathogens to improve infection prevention and control strategies, particularly among children.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Infectious Diseases
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.

Hamad Medical Corporation (16335/16).

Qatar University (QUCG-BRC-2018/2019-1).



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Health and Life Sciences - HBKU
  • Ministry of Public Health - State of Qatar
  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Communicable Disease Center - HMC
  • Qatar University
  • Biomedical Research Center - QU
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Health Sciences - QU HEALTH
  • Sidra Medicine

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