Incidence, Disease Severity, and Follow-Up of Influenza A/A, A/B, and B/B Virus Dual Infections in Children: A Hospital-Based Digital Surveillance Program
Obermeier, Patrick E.
Seeber, Lea D.
Rath, Barbara A.
Influenza virus (IV) coinfection, i.e., simultaneous infection with IV and other viruses, is a common occurrence in humans. However, little is known about the incidence and clinical impact of coinfection with two different IV subtypes or lineages (“dual infections”). We report the incidence, standardized disease severity, and follow-up of IV dual infections from a hospital-based digital surveillance cohort, comprising 6073 pediatric patients fulfilling pre-defined criteria of influenza-like illness in Berlin, Germany. All patients were tested for IV A/B by PCR, including subtypes/lineages. We assessed all patients at the bedside using the mobile ViVI ScoreApp, providing a validated disease severity score in real-time. IV-positive patients underwent follow-up assessments until resolution of symptoms. Overall, IV dual infections were rare (4/6073 cases; 0.07%, incidence 12/100,000 per year) but showed unusual and/or prolonged clinical presentations with slightly above-average disease severity. We observed viral rebound, serial infection, and B/Yamagata-B/Victoria dual infection. Digital tools, used for instant clinical assessments at the bedside, combined with baseline/follow-up virologic investigation, help identify coinfections in cases of prolonged and/or complicated course of illness. Infection with one IV does not necessarily prevent consecutive or simultaneous (co-/dual) infection, highlighting the importance of multivalent influenza vaccination and enhanced digital clinical and virological surveillance.
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