Seasonal Coronaviruses and Other Neglected Respiratory Viruses: A Global Perspective and a Local Snapshot.Front Public Health. 2021; 9:691163.FP
Respiratory viral infections are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world; however, there are several groups of viruses that are insufficiently routinely sought for, and can thus be considered neglected from a diagnostic and clinical standpoint. Timely detection of seasonality of certain respiratory viruses (e.g., enveloped viruses such as seasonal coronaviruses) in the local context can aid substantially in targeted and cost-effective utilization of viral diagnostic approaches. For the other, non-enveloped and year-round viruses (i.e., rhinovirus, adenovirus, and bocavirus), a continuous virological diagnosis needs to be implemented in clinical laboratories to more effectively address the aetiology of respiratory infections, and assess the overall impact of these viruses on disease burden. While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is still actively unfolding, we aimed to emphasize the persistent role of seasonal coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and bocaviruses in the aetiology of respiratory infections. Consequently, this paper concentrates on the burden and epidemiological trends of aforementioned viral groups on a global level, but also provides a snapshot of their prevalence patterns in Croatia in order to underscore the potential implications of viral seasonality. An overall global prevalence in respiratory tract infections was found to be between 0.5 and 18.4% for seasonal coronaviruses, between 13 and 59% for rhinoviruses, between 1 and 36% for human adenoviruses, and between 1 and 56.8% for human bocaviruses. A Croatian dataset on patients with respiratory tract infection and younger than 18 years of age has revealed a fairly high prevalence of rhinoviruses (33.4%), with much lower prevalence of adenoviruses (15.6%), seasonal coronaviruses (7.1%), and bocaviruses (5.3%). These insights represent a relevant discussion point in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic where the testing of non-SARS-CoV-2 viruses has been limited in many settings, making the monitoring of disease burden associated with other respiratory viruses rather difficult.