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Clin Sci (Lond). 2017 Jun 30;131(14):1713-1721. doi: 10.1042/CS20160011. Print 2017 Jul 15.

Role of human metapneumovirus and respiratory syncytial virus in asthma exacerbations: where are we now?

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Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD, Australia.
Monash Lung and Sleep, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Centre for Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, QLD, Australia


Since its discovery in 2001, human metapneumovirus (hMPV) has been identified as an important cause of respiratory tract infection in young children, second only to the closely related respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Clinical evidence suggests that hMPV is associated with acute exacerbations of asthma in both children and adults, and may play a role in initiating asthma development in children. Animal models have demonstrated that airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and inflammation are triggered following hMPV infection, and hMPV is able to persist in vivo by inhibiting innate immune responses and causing aberrant adaptive responses. In this review, we discuss the prevalence of hMPV infection in pediatric and adult populations and its potential role in asthma exacerbation. We also review recent advances made in animal models to determine immune responses following hMPV infection, and compare to what is known about RSV.


asthma; immune response; virology

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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