During a 17-month period, we performed retrospective analyses of the prevalence of and clinical symptoms associated with human metapneumovirus (hMPV) infection, among patients in a university hospital in The Netherlands. All available nasal-aspirate, throat-swab, sputum, and bronchoalveolar-lavage samples (N=1515) were tested for hMPV RNA by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. hMPV RNA was detected in 7% of samples from patients with respiratory tract illnesses (RTIs) and was the second-most-detected viral pathogen in these patients during the last 2 winter seasons. hMPV was detected primarily in very young children and in immunocompromised individuals. In young children, clinical symptoms associated with hMPV infection were similar to those associated with human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) infection, but dyspnea, feeding difficulties, and hypoxemia were reported more frequently in hRSV-infected children. Treatment with antibiotics and corticosteroids was reported more frequently in hMPV-infected children. From these data, we conclude that hMPV is an important pathogen associated with RTI.

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Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Immunocompromised Host, Infant, Male, Metapneumovirus/genetics/*isolation & purification, Middle Aged, Netherlands/epidemiology, Paramyxoviridae Infections/*epidemiology/pathology/*virology, Prevalence, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/pathology/virology, Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/isolation & purification, Respiratory Tract Infections/*epidemiology/pathology/*virology, Retrospective Studies, Seasons
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1086/379200, hdl.handle.net/1765/15070
Journal The Journal of Infectious Diseases
van den Hoogen, B.G, van Doornum, G.J.J, Fockens, J.C, Cornelissen, J.J, Beyer, W.E.Ph, de Groot, R, … Fouchier, R.A.M. (2003). Prevalence and clinical symptoms of human metapneumovirus infection in hospitalized patients. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 188(10), 1571–1577. doi:10.1086/379200