Human metapneumovirus in patients with respiratory tract infection in Kuwait



Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) has been recognized as an important cause of respiratory tract infections in all age groups and in all geographical area. The role of hMPV in causing respiratory tract infections in Kuwait was not yet investigated. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hMPV infection in Kuwait among patients with respiratory tract infection with respect to other respiratory viruses. During January–December 2009, 460 respiratory samples from 388 patients with respiratory tract infection were collected from different hospitals. They were tested for hMPV RNA by real-time PCR, and for other respiratory viruses by conventional PCR. Out of 388 patients, 110 (28%) were positive for viral respiratory infections; 21 (5.4%) were positive for hMPV, 29 (7.5%) were positive for rhinovirus, 13 (4%) were positive for respiratory syncytial virus, and 10 (3%) were positive for adenovirus. Most (n = 19, 90.5%) of hMPV-positive patients were admitted to the intensive care unit, 76% of them were of age 2 years and below, and 24% of age 59 years and above. All hMPV-positive elderly patients had pneumonia while 50% of hMPV-positive infants had bronchopneumonia. Children with hMPV/rhinovirus co-infection (n = 3, 1%) had recurrent chest infection and frequent intensive care unit admission. The hMPV infection was mostly detected between December and May, and genotype B was more prevalent than genotype A. This is the first study demonstrating the prevalence of hMPV infection in Kuwait, and suggests that hMPV infection is prevalent in infants and elderly patients with lower respiratory tract infection. J. Med. Virol. 83:1811–1817, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.