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    Rhinovirus and osteoarticular infections due to K kingae have the same seasonality

    Human rhinovirus (HRV) and Kingella kingae osteoarticular infections are highly active at the same time of year—the fall—a study in Paris found. The investigation was based on data for children diagnosed with K kingae osteoarticular infection in 2 major pediatric tertiary care centers during a 7-year period and, during the same time period, respiratory viral activity documented in a national database.

    During the study period, 322 children were diagnosed with K kingae osteoarticular infection. Activity was higher during the fall (30.4% of total cases) than in the summer (18.3%) and included peaks in May and September. Similarly, investigators identified periods of high HRV activity during the fall (39.1% of total cases), and lower activity during summer (11.1%). They also observed that weekly distribution of K kingae osteoarticular infection and rhinovirus activity were significantly correlated. By contrast, they found no significant temporal correlation between K kingae osteoarticular infection and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza virus, or metapneumovirus.

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    Investigators also noted that during winter, when influenza is prevalent, influenza and K kingae osteoarticular infection are not significantly correlated and, during the fall, when RSV infection gradually increases, K kingae osteoarticular infection actually decreases (Droz N, et al. J Pediatr. 2018;192:234-239).

    Thoughts from Dr. Burke

    We are still learning about the role of K kingae in childhood illness. These investigators correlate seasonal outbreaks of K kingae infections with those of rhinovirus, raising the possibility of some synergy between the organisms. The authors speculate that rhinovirus infection may disrupt the nasal mucosa in children colonized with the organism, allowing bacteremia and invasive disease.


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