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Respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus bronchiolitis are associated with distinct metabolic pathways

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher StewartORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


BackgroundBronchiolitis, the leading cause of US infant hospitalizations, is most commonly caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) followed by rhinovirus (RV). Conventional perception is that bronchiolitis is a single entity, albeit with different viral etiologies and degrees of severity.MethodsWe conducted a cross-sectional study of nasopharyngeal aspirates from 106 infants hospitalized with either RSV-only (n=80) or RV-only (n=26) bronchiolitis. We performed metabolomics analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequencing on all samples, and metagenomic sequencing on 58 of the 106 samples.ResultsInfants with RSV-only and RV-only infections had significantly different nasopharyngeal metabolome profiles (P<0.001) and bacterial metagenome profiles (P<0.05). RSV-only was associated with metabolites from a range of pathways and a microbiome dominated by Streptococcus pneumoniae. By contrast, RV-only was associated with increased essential and non-essential N-acetyl amino acids and high relative abundance of Haemophilus influenzae. These co-occurring species were associated with driving the bacterially-derived metabolic pathways. Multi-omic analysis showed that both the virus and the microbiome were significantly associated with the metabolic function in infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis.ConclusionAlthough study replication is necessary, these results highlight that bronchiolitis is not a uniform disease between RSV and RV infections, a result with future implications for prevention and treatment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stewart CJ, Hasegawa K, Wong MC, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, Piedra PA, Espinola JA, Tierney CN, Camargo CA, Mansbach JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Infectious Diseases

Year: 2018

Volume: 217

Issue: 7

Pages: 1160–1169

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Online publication date: 25/12/2017

Acceptance date: 15/12/2017

Date deposited: 05/01/2018

ISSN (print): 0022-1899

ISSN (electronic): 1537-6613

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jix680

PubMed id: 29293990


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