Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cause mild to severe respiratory diseases. Six types of HCoVs have been discovered, the most recent one termed the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The aim of this study is to monitor the circulation of HCoV types in the population during 2015–2016 in Israel. HCoVs were detected by real-time PCR analysis in 1910 respiratory samples, collected from influenza-like illness (ILI) patients during the winter sentinel influenza survey across Israel. Moreover, 195 HCoV-positive samples from hospitalized patients were detected during one year at Soroka University Medical Center. While no MERS-CoV infections were detected, 10.36% of patients in the survey were infected with HCoV-OC43 (43.43%), HCoV-NL63 (44.95%), and HCoV-229E (11.62%) viruses. The HCoVs were shown to co-circulate with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and to appear prior to influenza virus infections. HCoV clinical symptoms were more severe than those of RSV infections but milder than influenza symptoms. Hospitalized patients had similar HCoV types percentages. However, while it was absent from the public winter survey, 22.6% of the patients were HCoV-HKU1 positives, mainly during the spring-summer period.
- human coronavirus