SARS-CoV-2 Invasion: What Happens to Other Respiratory Viruses?

Irina Kiseleva1, 2, *, Tamila Musaeva3, Andrey Ksenafontov3
1 Institute of Experimental Medicine, Saint Petersburg, Russia
2 Saint Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russia
3 Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza, Saint Petersburg, Russia

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© 2022 Kiseleva et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Virology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, 12 Acad. Pavlov Street, 197376 St Petersburg, Russian; Tel: 89112247462; E-mail: irina.v.kiseleva@mail.ru


This letter briefly presents the relationships between respiratory viruses in the years prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Viral common colds are self-limiting infections that typically resolve within a few days. However, when well-established epidemiological relationships are disrupted during a pandemic, they behave differently. For instance, during the 2009 influenza pandemic, while the majority of seasonal respiratory viruses lost ground under the pressure of a new pandemic strain, some others (for instance, human rhinoviruses) continued to circulate along with the pandemic pathogen and in some cases, even delayed its spread. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the degree of circulation of many respiratory viruses has changed dramatically. Along with a significant reduction in the circulation of many seasonal respiratory pathogens, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus and non-COVID-19 coronaviruses—being the most frequently identified respiratory pathogens—have shown their unique capability to compete with SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: COVID-19, Viral acute respiratory infections, Influenza virus, Rhinovirus, Respiratory syncytial virus, Seasonal coronavirus.