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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Molecular and Cellular Microbiology  |  Host-Microbe Interaction and Pathogenesis

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett.

Received: November 17, 2020; Revised: February 14, 2021

Climate factors and their effects on the prevalence of rhinovirus infection in Cheonan, Korea

Dong Kyu Lim 1, Bo Kyeung Jung 2 and Jae Kyung Kim 3*

1Department of Medical Laser, Dankook University Graduate School of Medicine, 119, Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungnam 31116, South Korea, 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea, 3Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, College of Health Sciences, Dankook University, South Korea

Correspondence to :
Jae Kyung Kim, 119, Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan-si, Chungnam [31116]
Tel : +82 41 550 1451, Fax : +82 41 559 7934, E-mail :


The use of big data may facilitate the recognition and interpretation of causal relationships between disease occurrence and climatic variables. Considering the immense contribution of rhinoviruses to respiratory infections, in this study, we examined the effects of various climatic variables on the seasonal epidemiology of rhinovirus infections in the temperate climate of Cheonan, Korea. Trends in rhinovirus detection were analyzed based on 9,010 tests performed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2018 at Dankook University Hospital, Cheonan, Korea. Seasonal patterns of rhinovirus detection frequency were compared with the local climatic variables for the same period. Rhinovirus infection was the highest in children under 10 years of age, and climatic variables influenced the infection rate. Temperature, wind chill temperature, humidity, and particulate matter significantly affected rhinovirus detection. Temperature and wind chill temperature were higher on days on which rhinovirus infection was detected than on days on which it was not. Conversely, particulate matter was lower on days on which rhinovirus was detected. Atmospheric pressure and particulate matter showed a negative relationship with rhinovirus detection, whereas temperature, wind chill temperature, and humidity showed a positive relationship. Rhinovirus infection was significantly related to climatic factors such as temperature, wind chill temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and particulate matter. This study is the first to find a relationship between daily temperature/wind chill temperature and rhinovirus infection over an extended period.

Keywords: Climate, rhinovirus, meteorology, respiratory infection

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