Respiratory viruses can be detected in 18.3 to 48.9% of critically ill adults with severe respiratory tract infections (RTIs). The present study aims to assess the clinical significance of respiratory viruses in pragmatically selected adults in medical intensive care unit patients and to identify factors associated with viral respiratory viral tract infections (VRTIs). We conducted a prospective study on critically ill adults with suspected RTIs without recognized respiratory pathogens. Viral cultures with monoclonal antibody identification, in-house real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for influenza virus, and FilmArray respiratory panel were used to detect viral pathogens. Multivariable logistic regression was applied to identify factors associated with VRTIs. Sixty-four (40.5%) of the included 158 critically ill adults had respiratory viruses detected in their respiratory specimens. The commonly detected viruses included influenza virus (20), followed by human rhinovirus/enterovirus (11), respiratory syncitial virus (9), human metapneumovirus (9), human parainfluenza viruses (8), human adenovirus (7), and human coronaviruses (2). The FilmArray respiratory panel detected respiratory viruses in 54 (34.6%) patients, but showed negative results for seven of 13 patients with influenza A/H3 infection. In the multivariable logistic regression model, patient characters associated with VRTIs included those aged < 65 years, household contact with individuals with upper RTI, the presence of fever, cough with sputum production, and sore throat. Respiratory viruses were not uncommonly detected in the pragmatically selected adults with critical illness. The application of multiplex PCR testing for respiratory viruses in selected patient population is a practical strategy, and the viral detection rate could be further improved by the patient characters recognized in this study.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes