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Incidence and Distribution of Respiratory Microorganisms Causing Acute Respiratory Infections at the University Hospital of Korea by J. Y. Ham, K. E. Song, N. Y. Lee

Background: Acute respiratory infection caused by respiratory microorganisms including various kinds of viruses and bacteria is the most common infectious disease. When managing patients, it is crucial to detect these microorganisms rapidly and monitor their occurrence and tendency. Recently, the methods of detecting them have been implemented by molecular diagnostics. The authors intended to investigate their incidence and distribution and identify the significance of the molecular diagnosis for their detection.
Methods: The retrospective study was conducted to investigate the incidence and distribution of respiratory microorganisms according to the age, gender, month, season, and the detection method and to analyze their co-infections from July 2016 to December 2019. In addition, the four types of turn-around time (TAT) for each detec-tion method were also analyzed.
Results: The overall incidence for at least one respiratory microorganism was 23.1% (3,645/15,808). The highest incidence was identified in age group 2 (1 - 3 months), 38.5%. The incidence rates by multiplex PCR using Anyplex and Allplex, FilmArray method, and influenza virus (flu) antigen detection test were 44.2% (718/1,625), 63.1% (1,198/1,899), and 14.1% (1,729/12,284), respectively. The overall incidence between male and female patients showed no statistically significant difference (p = 0.980), except for the flu antigen detection test (p = 0.000). Influenza A viruses (flu A) accounted for the highest percentage (34.9%), followed by rhinovirus/enterovirus (20.5%), RSV (12.8%), flu B (8.3%), and adenovirus (7.6%). These microorganisms showed characteristic distribution patterns according to season and month. Flu A and flu B predominated in winter and accounted for an increasing proportion as age increased according to the age groups. The overall co-infection rate was 22.5% (432/1,916). The average TATs of the FilmArray method were significantly much faster than multiplex PCR using Anyplex and Allplex (p = 0.000).
Conclusions: The information on the incidence and distribution of respiratory microorganisms and their expeditious detection are considered critical to the management of the elderly, immunocompromised patients, and children. The rapid molecular-based diagnosis of respiratory infections would be beneficial in medical decision and prevention of their propagation.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2020.200441