Background: Adenovirus infections are prevalent in children. They usually cause a mild self-limited disease. However, this infection can be associated with considerable morbidity and mortality in specific populations, especially among immunocompromised children. Children with Down syndrome are susceptible to a higher frequency and increased severity of viral infections. Little is known about the severity and clinical course of adenovirus infections in children with Down syndrome.
Objectives: To characterize hospitalized children diagnosed with Down syndrome and presenting with adenovirus infection.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of children admitted with adenovirus from January 2005 to August 2014 from a single tertiary pediatric medical center in Israel. Data were compared between patients with and without Down syndrome.
Results: Among the 486 hospitalized children with adenoviral infection, 11 (2.28%) were diagnosed with Down syndrome. We found that children with Down syndrome were more likely to experience a higher incidence of complications (18.2% vs. 2.4%, P = 0.008), a higher rate of admissions to the intensive care unit (36.4% vs. 2.4%, P < 0.001), and more prolonged hospitalizations (17 ± 15.9 days compared to 4.46 ± 3.16, P = 0.025).
Conclusions: Children with Down syndrome who were hospitalized with adenovirus infection represent a high-risk group and warrant close monitoring. If a vaccine for adenovirus becomes available, children with Down syndrome should be considered as candidates