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Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Jun;9(6):628-33.

Children with respiratory disease associated with metapneumovirus in Hong Kong.

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The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong SAR, China.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a newly discovered pathogen thought to be associated with respiratory disease. We report the results of a study of 587 children hospitalized with respiratory infection over a 13-month period. HMPV was detected in the nasopharyngeal aspirates from 32 (5.5%) children by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. HMPV infection was associated with clinical diagnoses of pneumonia (36%), asthma exacerbation (23%), or acute bronchiolitis (10%). When compared to those with respiratory syncytial virus infection, children with HMPV infection were older, and wheezing was more likely to represent asthma exacerbation rather than acute bronchiolitis. HMPV viral activity peaked during the spring-summer period in Hong Kong. Phylogenetically, all HMPV virus strains from Hong Kong belonged to one of the two genetic lineages previously described. HMPV contributed to 441.6 hospital admissions per 100,000 population <6 years of age.

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