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J Infect Dis. 2004 Apr 15;189(8):1388-96. Epub 2004 Apr 2.

A 1-year experience with human metapneumovirus in children aged <5 years.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8064, USA.


Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently discovered respiratory pathogen. We tested respiratory specimens for the presence of hMPV by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. These specimens were obtained over a 1-year period from children aged <5 years and had negative results by the direct fluorescent antibody test for respiratory syncytial virus, influenza A and B, parainfluenza viruses 1-3, and adenovirus. Overall, 54 (8.1%) of 668 individuals tested positive for hMPV. During March and April of the study period, hMPV was detected in 17.6% and 25.0% of specimens tested, respectively. At least 2 distinct genotypes of hMPV circulated during the study period. Fever, tachypnea, cough, rhinorrhea, retractions of the chest wall, and wheezing were common findings. Of hMPV-positive children, 60.4% were aged <12 months. hMPV accounted for a small but significant proportion of respiratory-tract disease in infants and children.

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