Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Viral infections are the leading cause of childhood acute febrile illnesses motivating consultation in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of causal viruses are never identified in low-resource clinical settings as such testing is either not part of routine screening or available diagnostic tools have limited ability to detect new/unexpected viral variants. An in-depth exploration of the blood virome is therefore necessary to clarify the potential viral origin of fever in children. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing is a powerful tool for such broad investigations, allowing the detection of RNA and DNA viral genomes. Here, we describe the blood virome of 816 febrile children (<5 years) presenting at outpatient departments in Dar es Salaam over one-year. We show that half of the patients (394/816) had at least one detected virus recognized as causes of human infection/disease (13.8% enteroviruses (enterovirus A, B, C, and rhinovirus A and C), 12% rotaviruses, 11% human herpesvirus type 6). Additionally, we report the detection of a large number of viruses (related to arthropod, vertebrate or mammalian viral species) not yet known to cause human infection/disease, highlighting those who should be on the radar, deserve specific attention in the febrile paediatric population and, more broadly, for surveillance of emerging pathogens.Trial registration: identifier: NCT02225769.

Original publication





Emerging microbes & infections

Publication Date





982 - 993


Division of Infectious Diseases, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.


Humans, Viruses, Virus Diseases, Fever, Retrospective Studies, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Child, Preschool, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Tanzania, Metagenomics, High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing