Human rhinoviruses and severe respiratory infections: Is it possible to identify at-risk patients early?

Nicola Principi, Cristina Daleno, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Molecular methods of viral screening have demonstrated that human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are associated with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs, including bronchiolitis and pneumonia), exacerbations of chronic pulmonary disease and the development of asthma. Patients with severe chronic diseases are at greater risk of developing major clinical problems when infected by HRVs, particularly if they are immunocompromised or have a chronic lung disease. Analysing the characteristics of HRVs does not provide any certainty concerning the risk of a poor prognosis and, although viremia seems to be associated with an increased risk of severe HRV infection, the available data are too scanty to be considered conclusive. However, a chest x-ray showing alveolar involvement suggests the potentially negative evolution of a bacterial superinfection. There is therefore an urgent need for more effective diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures in order to prevent HRV infection, and identify and treat the patients at highest risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-430
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Enterovirus
  • Picornaviridae
  • respiratory infection
  • rhinovirus
  • viral infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)

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