Seeking causes of unexplained respiratory illness in children by identifying new respiratory viruses (2011–2013)
We aim to improve the ability to determine a viral cause in clinically diagnosed acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) by hunting for currently unknown viruses in 50 clinically defined ARTI-associated specimens, negative for all known viruses. We will use unbiased polymerase chain reaction methods. The genome of up to 5 of the newly identified viruses will be sequenced, molecularly characterised and used for predictive structural modelling studies. These new discoveries provide a rich source for future clinical studies seeking a role for each virus in respiratory illness. They will inform novel antiviral research, improved use of anti-bacterials and better vaccine prioritisation and ultimately contribute to reduced healthcare burdens.