a1 Health Protection Agency, Public Health Laboratory, Birmingham, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham, UK
a2 Health Protection Agency, Clinical Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
In spring 2009 a new strain of influenza A(H1N1) emerged and caused a worldwide pandemic. This study utilized a large collection of respiratory specimens from suspected cases of influenza A(H1N1) in the UK West Midlands during the pandemic in order to investigate which other respiratory viruses were circulating and whether they played any role in the increased hospitalization rates seen during that period. Study specimens were selected from community and hospitalized patients positive and negative for influenza A(H1N1) and tested by PCR for other respiratory viruses. A number of infections diagnosed as influenza during the summer influenza outbreak were found to be due to other virus infections (most commonly rhinovirus). No statistically significant difference was found between the rates of respiratory virus co-infection with H1N1 in patients from community or hospital locations suggesting underlying factors were likely to be more significant than viral co-infections in determining severity of influenza A(H1N1) disease.
(Accepted October 12 2011)
(Online publication November 11 2011)
c1 Author for correspondence: Dr H. E. Tanner, Health Protection Agency, Public Health Laboratory, Birmingham, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Bordesley Green East, Birmingham B9 5SS, UK. (Email: Hannah.Tanner@HeartofEngland.nhs.uk)