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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 May 1;44(9):1152-8. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

An outbreak of severe respiratory tract infection due to human metapneumovirus in a long-term care facility.

Author information

1
Research Center in Infectious Diseases of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. Guy.Boivin@crchul.ulaval.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a newly described paramyxovirus that is mainly associated with bronchiolitis in children. We sought to describe the epidemiological, virological, and histopathological findings associated with a large outbreak of hMPV infection in a long-term care facility.

METHODS:

An investigation of the outbreak was performed by public health authorities, who used standardized questionnaires to collect relevant clinical information from all residents of the facility. Nasopharyngeal samples were obtained from a subset of patients who had influenza-like illnesses for testing by viral culture and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Lung tissue samples from a patient whose case was fatal were available for molecular, histopathological, and immunohistochemical testing.

RESULTS:

A total of 96 (27%) of 364 residents of a long-term care facility presented with respiratory or constitutional symptoms between 1 January 2006 and 15 February 2006. The attack rate in the most affected ward was 72% (31 of 43 patients), which included 4 of the 6 polymerase chain reaction-confirmed cases of hMPV infection. In contrast, viral culture results were positive for hMPV in only 2 of the 5 polymerase chain reaction-positive samples tested. The most reported diagnosis was an upper respiratory tract infection or an influenza-like illness, although 21% of residents in 1 of the 3 wards that had confirmed cases of hMPV infection had lower respiratory tract infections. The fatality rate was 50% (3 of 6 patients) among confirmed cases and 9.4% (9 of 96 patients) among patients with possible cases. A patient with a fatal case had histopathological findings that confirmed the presence of hMPV RNA and proteins in the bronchiolar epithelium of affected lobes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of 2 distinct strains of hMPV circulating simultaneously on different wards.

CONCLUSION:

hMPV can be associated with important outbreaks of acute respiratory tract infection in elderly institutionalized persons.

PMID:
17407031
DOI:
10.1086/513204
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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