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Pathogens. 2020 Jan 28;9(2). pii: E85. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9020085.

Human Metapneumovirus: Etiological Agent of Severe Acute Respiratory Infections in Hospitalized and Deceased Patients with a Negative Diagnosis of Influenza.

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Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference "Dr. Manuel Martinez Baez" (InDRE), Health Secretary. Francisco de P. Miranda No. 177. Colony Lomas de Plateros. Town Hall., Alvaro Obregon 1480, Mexico City, Mexico.
General Directorate of Epidemiology; Health Secretary. Francisco de P. Miranda No. 157. Colony Lomas de Plateros. Town Hall. Alvaro Obregon, Mexico City 01480, Mexico.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is one of the four major viral pathogens associated with acute respiratory tract infections (ARI) and creates a substantial burden of disease, particularly in young children (<5 years) and older individuals (≥65 years). The objective of this study was to determine the epidemiological behavior of HMPV in Mexico. This retrospective study was conducted over a nine-year period and used 7283 influenza-negative respiratory samples from hospitalized and deceased patients who presented Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). The samples were processed with the help of qualitative multiplex RT-PCR for simultaneous detection of 14 respiratory viruses (xTAG® RVP FAST v2). 40.8% of the samples were positive for respiratory viruses, mainly rhinovirus/enterovirus (47.6%), respiratory syncytial virus (15.9%), HMPV (11.1%) and parainfluenza virus (8.9%). Other respiratory viruses and co-infections accounted for 16.5%. HMPV infects all age groups, but the most affected group was infants between 29 days and 9 years of age (65.6%) and adults who are 40 years and older (25.7%). HMPV circulates every year from November to April, and the highest circulation was observed in late winter. The results of this study aim to raise awareness among clinicians about the high epidemiological impact of HMPV in young children and older individuals in order to reduce the economic burden in terms of health care costs.


epidemiology; human metapneumovirus; respiratory viruses

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