Journal Article

Prevalence and Characteristics of Human Metapneumovirus Infection Among Hospitalized Children at High Risk for Severe Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

Evan J. Anderson, Eric A. F. Simões, Jim P. Buttery, Penelope H. Dennehy, Joseph B. Domachowske, Kathryn Jensen, Jay M. Lieberman, Genevieve A. Losonsky and Ram Yogev

in Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Published on behalf of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society

Volume 1, issue 3, pages 212-222
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 2048-7193
Published online July 2012 | e-ISSN: 2048-7207 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpids/pis069
Prevalence and Characteristics of Human Metapneumovirus Infection Among Hospitalized Children at High Risk for Severe Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

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Background.

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a significant cause of respiratory tract infections. Little is known about HMPV in children who are at high risk for lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI).

Methods.

To determine the prevalence of HMPV in high-risk children and to identify HMPV risk factors, children ≤24 months with prematurity, chronic lung disease, and/or congenital cardiac disease who were hospitalized with LRTI were prospectively enrolled. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were tested for HMPV, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza A and B, and parainfluenza types 1–3. Demographics, medical history, and outcomes for those with HMPV and RSV were compared. A multivariate analysis was performed to determine HMPV risk factors.

Results.

Over 4 years, 1126 eligible children were enrolled. Pathogens were identified in 61% of subjects. HMPV was identified in 9.0%, second to RSV (45%). Coinfection with HMPV and RSV occurred in <1% of subjects. Subjects infected with HMPV were older (8.2 vs 4.0 months, P < .001), were born more prematurely (27 vs 33 weeks, P < .001), and more commonly had chronic lung disease (59.3% vs 21.8%, P < .001) compared with subjects infected with RSV. In a multivariate analysis that compared children infected with HMPV to all others, increasing age and household exposure to children ages 6–12 were associated with an increased risk, whereas birth at older gestational age and exposure to children age >12 were associated with a decreased risk.

Conclusions.

HMPV was detected in 9% of high-risk children who were hospitalized with lower respiratory tract disease, representing the second most common virus in this population. Compared with all other subjects (including RSV-infected), subjects infected with HMPV were older but were born more prematurely.

Journal Article.  4885 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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