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Article

Pattern of Respiratory Viruses among Pilgrims during 2019 Hajj Season Who Sought Healthcare Due to Severe Respiratory Symptoms

1
Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2
Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Nursing, Faculty of Al-Qunfudah Health Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah 28821, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
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Makkah Regional Lab, Ministry of Health, Makkah 25321, Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Lab, Ministry of Health, Riyadh 13354, Saudi Arabia
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Al-Noor Specialist Hospital, Ministry of Health, Makkah 24241, Saudi Arabia
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Division of Infection and Immunity, Centre for Clinical Microbiology, University College London Royal Free Campus, London WC1E 6DE, UK
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NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London W1T 7DN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc Desforges
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030315
Received: 20 January 2021 / Revised: 28 February 2021 / Accepted: 28 February 2021 / Published: 8 March 2021
The aim of our study was to define the spectrum of viral infections in pilgrims with acute respiratory tract illnesses presenting to healthcare facilities around the holy places in Makkah, Saudi Arabia during the 2019 Hajj pilgrimage. During the five days of Hajj, a total of 185 pilgrims were enrolled in the study. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPSs) of 126/185 patients (68.11%) tested positive for one or more respiratory viruses by PCR. Among the 126 pilgrims whose NPS were PCR positive: (a) there were 93/126 (74%) with a single virus infection, (b) 33/126 (26%) with coinfection with more than one virus (up to four viruses): of these, 25/33 cases had coinfection with two viruses; 6/33 were infected with three viruses, while the remaining 2/33 patients had infection with four viruses. Human rhinovirus (HRV) was the most common detected viruses with 53 cases (42.06%), followed by 27 (21.43%) cases of influenza A (H1N1), and 23 (18.25%) cases of influenza A other than H1N1. Twenty-five cases of CoV-229E (19.84%) were detected more than other coronavirus members (5 CoV-OC43 (3.97%), 4 CoV-HKU1 (3.17%), and 1 CoV-NL63 (0.79%)). PIV-3 was detected in 8 cases (6.35%). A single case (0.79%) of PIV-1 and PIV-4 were found. HMPV represented 5 (3.97%), RSV and influenza B 4 (3.17%) for each, and Parechovirus 1 (0.79%). Enterovirus, Bocavirus, and M. pneumoniae were not detected. Whether identification of viral nucleic acid represents nasopharyngeal carriage or specific causal etiology of RTI remains to be defined. Large controlled cohort studies (pre-Hajj, during Hajj, and post-Hajj) are required to define the carriage rates and the specific etiology and causal roles of specific individual viruses or combination of viruses in the pathogenesis of respiratory tract infections in pilgrims participating in the annual Hajj. Studies of the specific microbial etiology of respiratory track infections (RTIs) at mass gathering religious events remain a priority, especially in light of the novel SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hajj; mass gathering; pilgrims; respiratory tract infection; respiratory symptoms; viruses; carriage; etiology; Saudi Arabia Hajj; mass gathering; pilgrims; respiratory tract infection; respiratory symptoms; viruses; carriage; etiology; Saudi Arabia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alsayed, S.M.; Alandijany, T.A.; El-Kafrawy, S.A.; Hassan, A.M.; Bajrai, L.H.; Faizo, A.A.; Mulla, E.A.; Aljahdali, L.S.; Alquthami, K.M.; Zumla, A.; Azhar, E.I. Pattern of Respiratory Viruses among Pilgrims during 2019 Hajj Season Who Sought Healthcare Due to Severe Respiratory Symptoms. Pathogens 2021, 10, 315. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030315

AMA Style

Alsayed SM, Alandijany TA, El-Kafrawy SA, Hassan AM, Bajrai LH, Faizo AA, Mulla EA, Aljahdali LS, Alquthami KM, Zumla A, Azhar EI. Pattern of Respiratory Viruses among Pilgrims during 2019 Hajj Season Who Sought Healthcare Due to Severe Respiratory Symptoms. Pathogens. 2021; 10(3):315. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030315

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alsayed, Salma M., Thamir A. Alandijany, Sherif A. El-Kafrawy, Ahmed M. Hassan, Leena H. Bajrai, Arwa A. Faizo, Eman A. Mulla, Lujain S. Aljahdali, Khalid M. Alquthami, Alimuddin Zumla, and Esam I. Azhar. 2021. "Pattern of Respiratory Viruses among Pilgrims during 2019 Hajj Season Who Sought Healthcare Due to Severe Respiratory Symptoms" Pathogens 10, no. 3: 315. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030315

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