Characterisation of winter respiratory viral infections in patients with asthma and COPD in Qatar
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Respiratory viruses in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma have not been characterised in Qatar. This study aimed to identify the most common viral strains responsible for respiratory tract infections in asthma/COPD patients (without exacerbations) in Qatar during the winter season (2008-2009). Nasal swabs from patients with asthma/COPD and respiratory symptoms were evaluated for 15 common viruses. 200 adult patients (190 with asthma and 10 with COPD) were enrolled. Viral infections were present in 36 out of 200 patients (18 %). Cough and wheezing were the most common symptoms. Rhinovirus was the most common causative agent, followed by coronaviruses. Our findings confirm previous reports of rhinovirus prevalence in respiratory tract infections in asthma/COPD. A countrywide survey to confirm our findings is warranted.
KeywordsAsthma Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Influenza Respiratory Tract Infection Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patient
The authors would like to thank all nurses in the Chest Clinic of Hamad General Hospital in Qatar for their help in sample collection; Dr. R. Singh, biostatistician at Hamad Medical Corporation; and Ehssan Othman for coordinating the project. The authors would like to acknowledge support of Dr. Sabah Allawati, from Medcommz Ltd., in providing editorial support for this article.
Conflict of interest
The Medical Research Department at HMC and the Research Office of Qatar University provided financial support to carry out this study. No competing financial interests exist for any of the authors.
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