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Nosocomial infections due to human coronaviruses in the newborn



Nosocomial infections due to human coronaviruses in the newborn



Archives de Pediatrie 9(1): 61-69



Human coronaviruses, with two known serogroups named 229-E and OC-43, are enveloped positive-stranded RNA viruses. The large RNA is surrounded by a nucleoprotein (protein N). The envelop contains 2 or 3 glycoproteins: spike protein (or protein S), matrix protein (or protein M) and a hemagglutinin (or protein HE). Their pathogen role remains unclear because their isolation is difficult. Reliable and rapid methods as immunofluorescence with monoclonal antibodies and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction allow new researches on epidemiology. Human coronaviruses can survive for as long as 6 days in suspension and 3 hours after drying on surfaces, suggesting that they could be a source of hospital-acquired infections. Two prospective studies conducted in a neonatal and paediatric intensive care unit demonstrated a significant association of coronavirus-positive nasopharyngal samples with respiratory illness in hospitalised preterm neonates. Positive samples from staff suggested either a patient-to-staff or a staff-to-patient transmission. No cross-infection were observed from community-acquired respiratory-syncitial virus or influenza-infected children to neonates. Universal precautions with hand washing and surface desinfection could be proposed to prevent coronavirus transmission.

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Accession: 046823036

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PMID: 11865552


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