Viruses. 2021 Dec 16;13(12):2528. doi: 10.3390/v13122528.
BACKGROUND: We aimed to compare the clinical severity in patients who were coinfected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and rhinovirus or monoinfected with a single one of these viruses.
METHODS: The study period ranged from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2021 (one year). SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses were identified by real-time reverse-transcription-PCR as part of the routine work at Marseille University hospitals. Bacterial and fungal infections were detected by standard methods. Clinical data were retrospectively collected from medical files. This study was approved by the ethical committee of our institute.
RESULTS: A total of 6034/15,157 (40%) tested patients were positive for at least one respiratory virus. Ninety-three (4.3%) SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were coinfected with another respiratory virus, with rhinovirus being the most frequent (62/93, 67%). Patients coinfected with SARS-CoV-2 and rhinovirus were significantly more likely to report a cough than those with SARS-CoV-2 monoinfection (62% vs. 31%; p = 0.0008). In addition, they were also significantly more likely to report dyspnea than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (45% vs. 36%; p = 0.02). They were also more likely to be transferred to an intensive care unit and to die than patients with rhinovirus monoinfection (16% vs. 5% and 7% vs. 2%, respectively) but these differences were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSIONS: A close surveillance and investigation of the co-incidence and interactions of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses is needed. The possible higher risk of increased clinical severity in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients coinfected with rhinovirus warrants further large scale studies.