Viral co-infections appear to impact clinical outcomes

Viral co-infections infections are about six times more common in children than adults and changes clinical outcomes, a new study finds.

Investigating five years of respiratory virus infections, the Cleveland Clinic research team, led by pediatric infectious disease specialist Frank Esper, MD, examined all co-infection pairings to determine if specific viral pairings were occurring more often than expected and what was the clinical significance of those pairings. This data set included more than 30,000 samples, and of those, almost 10,000 of them were positive for a virus, and more than 1,000 were positive for a co-infection.

“This is one of the first studies to look specifically into virus pairings,” says Dr. Esper. “Previous studies poorly describe co-infections and often do not look at specific virus pairings. We’re still at the beginning of understanding what happens when two viral pathogens infect together — compared with one single pathogen acting alone — we are finding that co-infections do impact outcomes.”

All co-infections are not created equal

Credit: iStock, KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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