Severe metapneumovirus infections among immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients admitted to hospital with respiratory infection

Authors

  • Juliana Sinohara Souza,

    1. Medicine Department, Clinical Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Unit, Sao Paulo Federal University, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Aripuana Watanabe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Medicine Department, Clinical Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Unit, Sao Paulo Federal University, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
    • Medicine Department, Clinical Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Unit, Sao Paulo Federal University, Rua Pedro de Toledo, 781, Andar 15. Vila Clementino, São Paulo, SP 04039-032, Brazil.
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  • Emerson Carraro,

    1. Unicentro—Middle-West State University, Guarapuava, Paraná, Brazil
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  • Celso Granato,

    1. Medicine Department, Clinical Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Unit, Sao Paulo Federal University, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Nancy Bellei

    1. Medicine Department, Clinical Virology Laboratory, Infectious Diseases Unit, Sao Paulo Federal University, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
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  • Conflict of interest: none.

Abstract

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is considered an important cause of acute respiratory infections. hMPV can cause morbidity in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients and recent research has demonstrated that it is an important virus in patients admitted to hospital with respiratory infections and suspected of having pandemic 2009 influenza A (H1N1pdm09) virus. The purpose of this study was to investigate infections caused by hMPV in two groups of patients admitted to hospital: Immunocompromized patients with a potential risk of severe outcomes and immunocompetent patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome. A total of 288 samples were tested: 165 samples were collected from patients with suspected influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 infection during the first pandemic wave in 2009; and 123 samples were collected from patients of a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation program in 2008–2009. Amplification of the hMPV genes was performed by polymerase chain reaction. This was followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. hMPV was detected in 14.2% (41/288) of all samples: 17% (28/165) of immunocompetent patients with suspected H1N1 infection and 10.6% (13/123) among hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. hMPV accounted for 12.1% (8/66) of immunocompetent adults patients with severe respiratory infections (median age, 55.9 years). Two hMPV subtypes were identified, A2 (26.9%; 7/26) and B2 (73.1%; 19/26) but no difference was observed between the patient groups in terms of age or immunosuppression level. This study highlights the significance of hMPV in immunocompetent adult patients with severe infections and further investigations are recommended for understanding the impact of this virus. J. Med. Virol. 85:530–536, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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