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Identification of viruses in Acute Lower Respiratory Infections (ALRI) in Lao People's Democratic Republic


Acute respiratory infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Information on viral etiology in ALRI from Lao PDR is limited. The aim of the present study was to use Multiplex PCR/RT-PCR methods for the detection of the major respiratory viruses.


Nasal/throat swab specimens were collected from patients enrolled in the ALRI surveillance programme within 2 hospitals, one in Vientiane Capital (Setthathirat Hospital) and the second one in Luang Prabang. From each sample, viral RNA was extracted and amplified by using 5 multiplex PCR/RT-PCR targeting 18 respiratory viruses.


Between 2009 and 2010, Multiplex PCR / RT-PCR detected respiratory viruses in 111 (54.7%) of 203 samples. Single virus was detected in 44.8% (91/203) and virus co-infections were observed in 9.9% (20/203). Rhinovirus (40.5%), human Respiratory Syncytial virus (hRSV; 27.9%), and Influenza A virus (9.0%) were the most frequently detected viruses. Adenovirus and human Metapneumovirus were detected in 8.1% and 6.3% of ALRI specimen, respectively. Influenza C virus and SARS-coronavirus were not detected during the study period. Children < 5 years represented 50% of patients identified.


Our results provide new documentation about etiology of respiratory virus diseases in Lao People's Democratic Republic. In this context, multiplex PCR/RT-PCR offers a sensitive and reasonably priced diagnostic method for common respiratory viruses.


Supported by the French Development Agency through the Surveillance and Investigation of Epidemic Situations in Southeast Asia (SISEA) project.

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Correspondence to Anne-Charlotte Sentilhes.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Sentilhes, AC., Xaysitthideth, V., Rith, S. et al. Identification of viruses in Acute Lower Respiratory Infections (ALRI) in Lao People's Democratic Republic. BMC Proc 5 (Suppl 1), P74 (2011).

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