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Keywords:

  • HMPV;
  • MPV;
  • bronchiolitis;
  • middle east

Abstract

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) has recently been identified as an important cause of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in children worldwide. However, there is little systematic data on its frequency and importance as a cause of ARI in the Middle East. We conducted a viral surveillance study in children <5 years of age admitted with respiratory symptoms and/or fever at two major tertiary care hospitals in Amman, Jordan from 1/18-3/29/07. Nose and throat swabs were collected and tested for HMPV and other respiratory viruses by real-time RT-PCR. A total of 743 subjects were enrolled. Forty-four (6%) subjects were positive for HMPV, 467 (64%) were positive for RSV and 13 (1.3%) had co-infection with both HMPV and RSV. The frequency of HMPV in January, February, and March was 4.1%, 3.0%, and 11.9% respectively. Clinical features associated with HMPV infection were similar to those of other respiratory viruses, except children with HMPV were more likely to present with fever than children not infected with HMPV. Children with HMPV and RSV co-infection were administered supplemental oxygen and were admitted to the ICU more frequently than children infected with HMPV alone or RSV alone, though these differences did not reach statistical significance. We conclude that HMPV is an important cause of acute respiratory infections in children in Amman, Jordan. Longer surveillance studies are needed to better understand the seasonal epidemiology of HMPV and to assess if co-infection with HMPV and RSV leads to more severe illness. J. Med. Virol. 82:1012–1016, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.