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Virologica Sinica

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 41–48 | Cite as

A six-year descriptive epidemiological study of human coronavirus infections in hospitalized patients in Hong Kong

  • Cyril C. Y. Yip
  • Carol S. F. Lam
  • Hayes K. H. Luk
  • Emily Y. M. Wong
  • Rodney A. Lee
  • Lok-Yee So
  • Kwok-Hung Chan
  • Vincent C. C. Cheng
  • Kwok-Yung Yuen
  • Patrick C. Y. Woo
  • Susanna K. P. Lau
Research Article

Abstract

We conducted a six-year epidemiological study on human coronaviruses (HCoVs) circulating in Hong Kong, using 8275 nasopharyngeal samples from patients with acute respiratory tract infections. HCoVs were detected in 77 (0.93%) of the samples by a pan-HCoV RT-PCR assay. The most frequently detected HCoV species was HCoV-OC43 (0.58%), followed by HCoV-229E (0.15%), HCoV-HKU1 (0.13%) and HCoV-NL63 (0.07%). HCoVs were detected throughout the study period (September 2008–August 2014), with the highest detection rate from September 2010 to August 2011 (22/1500, 1.47%). Different seasonal patterns of each HCoV species in Hong Kong were noted. HCoV-OC43 was predominant in the fall and winter, whereas HCoV-HKU1 showed peak activity in winter, with a few cases occurred in spring and summer. HCoV-229E mainly occurred in winter and spring, while HCoV-NL63 was predominant in summer and autumn. HCoVs most commonly infect the elderly and young children, with median age of 79.5 years (range, 22 days to 95 years). Intriguingly, the detection rate of HCoV-OC43 in the age group of > 80 years (26/2380, 1.09%) was significantly higher than that in the age group of 0–10 years (12/2529, 0.47%) (P < 0.05). These data provides new insight into the epidemiology of coronaviruses.

Keywords

epidemiology human coronaviruses respiratory tract infections 

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Copyright information

© Wuhan Institute of Virology, CAS and Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyril C. Y. Yip
    • 1
  • Carol S. F. Lam
    • 1
  • Hayes K. H. Luk
    • 1
  • Emily Y. M. Wong
    • 1
  • Rodney A. Lee
    • 4
  • Lok-Yee So
    • 5
  • Kwok-Hung Chan
    • 1
  • Vincent C. C. Cheng
    • 1
  • Kwok-Yung Yuen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Patrick C. Y. Woo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Susanna K. P. Lau
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Research Centre of Infection and ImmunologyThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious DiseasesThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  4. 4.Department of MicrobiologyPamela Youde Nethersole Eastern HospitalHong Kong SARChina
  5. 5.Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent MedicinePamela Youde Nethersole Eastern HospitalHong Kong SARChina

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