Respiratory viruses within homeless shelters in Marseille, France

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Background: Homeless shelters are identified as places where humans are at high risk of acquiring respiratory disease. We previously reported the prevalence of the main respiratory diseases affecting a population of homeless in Marseille, France. Here, we investigated the prevalence of 10 respiratory viruses in a similar homeless population during 2 successive winter seasons. Findings. Following a clinical examination, we collected nasal specimens from which the RT-PCR detection of 10 respiratory viruses was performed through snapshot investigations. Among the 265 patients included, 150 (56.6%) reported at least one respiratory symptom of which 13 (8.7%) had positive swabs for at least one respiratory virus, and 115 patients reported any respiratory symptom of which 10 (8.7%) had positive swabs for respiratory virus. Overall, 23 patients had positive swabs for at least one respiratory virus. Human rhinovirus (HRV) was the predominant virus (13 isolates) followed by enteroviruses (3), human metapneumovirus (2), human coronavirus OC43 (2), 229E virus (2) and human respiratory syncytial virus subtype B (1). Among the patients infected with HRV, 10 were collected during the same snapshot. Conclusions: Although one half of the patients reported respiratory symptoms, the prevalence of respiratory viruses was within the range of that previously described in adult asymptomatic patients outside the homeless community. Most HRV-positive swabs were collected during the same snapshot suggesting a local outbreak. No influenza viruses were found despite the fact that one half of the patients were investigated during the peak of the seasonal influenza epidemic in Marseille. © 2014 Thiberville et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.




Thiberville, S. D., Salez, N., Benkouiten, S., Badiaga, S., Charrel, R., & Brouqui, P. (2014). Respiratory viruses within homeless shelters in Marseille, France. BMC Research Notes, 7(1).

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