Abstract

Introduction: The role of viruses in bronchiectasis remains uncertain as detection in stable disease has been previously reported.

Aim: To characterise the presence of viral species in the established CAMEB cohort using a panel of RNA viruses.

Methods: N=228 airway specimens from CAMEB were subjected to real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) against a panel of 10 viruses including Coronaviruses (OC43, SARS, NL63, 229E), Parainfluenza viruses (PIV1-4), Rhinovirus and Enterovirus. 

Results: Virus was detected in N=143 patients (62.7%) with a median viral load of 3.1 x 104 genome copies/g sputum (IQR; 6.6 x 103– 8.2 x 104). The most frequently detected virus was PIV3 in N=135 patients (59.2%) with a median viral load of 2.4 x 10genome copies/g sputum (IQR; 5.9 x 103– 5.9 x 104) and was commoner in Asians (75% vs 39%, p < 0.001). Rhinovirus was detected in N=17 (7.5% of patients) at a median viral load of 4.4 x 108 (IQR; 4.8 x 107– 1.2 x 109) with equal distribution between Asians and Europeans. PIV4 was detectable in N=10 (4.4%) while Coronavirus 229E, Enterovirus and PIV2 were each detected in a single patient. 

Conclusion: We have performed the most comprehensive viral analysis in stable bronchiectasis to date which reveals high rates of viral carriage predominantly PIV3. Further work is necessary to elucidate the significance of these findings.

Funding: This research is supported by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council under its Transition Award (NMRC/TA/0048/2016) (S.H.C).