Human bocaviruses: Possible etiologic role in respiratory infection

Francesco Broccolo, Valeria Falcone, Susanna Esposito, Antonio Toniolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four species of human bocaviruses (HBoV) are currently included in the Bocavirus genus. There is satisfactory evidence demonstrating an association between HBoV1 and respiratory disease in children, and there is evidence that HBoV2 (and possibly the HBoV3 and HBoV4 species) are associated with gastroenteritis. In particular, HBoV1 has been associated with a prolonged period of persistence in the mucosa of the respiratory tract. Virus persistence does play a role in the high frequency of co-infections with proper pathogens of the upper and lower respiratory tracts. The high detection rate of multiple respiratory viruses in up to 83% of respiratory specimens and the presence of asymptomatic HBoV1 infections complicate the elucidation of the pathogenic role of the agent. Overall, a large amount of data are available concerning HBoV1, whereas little information is available about other bocavirus species. High viral loads are often associated with symptoms, and viremia may be associated with systemic manifestations such as encephalopathy. The effects and mechanisms of latency, persistence, reactivation, and reinfection are poorly understood. Thus, particularly in co-infections, the pathogenic contribution of the detected bocavirus species cannot be accurately stated. This review summarizes the current knowledge of HBoV species and provides perspectives for future clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Bocavirus
  • Enteric virus
  • Pathogenic role
  • Persistent infection
  • Respiratory virus
  • Systemic manifestations
  • Viral load
  • Viremia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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