Laboratoire Christophe Mérieux

Human metapneumovirus associated with community-acquired pneumonia in children in Beijing, China

Lu G, Li J, Xie Z, Liu C, Guo L, Vernet G, Shen K, Wang J

J Med Virol. 2013 Jan;85(1):138-43


Community-acquired pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. However, few studies have been conducted on the infection of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) associated with pediatric community-acquired pneumonia in China. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected between July 2008 and June 2010 from 1,028 children, aged ≤16.5 years, who were diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia in Beijing, China. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was used to screen the samples for hMPV and common respiratory viruses. hMPV was detected in 6.3% of the patients with community-acquired pneumonia. This detection rate is the third highest for a respiratory virus in children with community-acquired pneumonia, after that of rhinovirus (30.9%) and respiratory syncytial virus (30.7%). The detection rate of hMPV in 2008/2009 (42/540, 7.8%) was significantly higher than in 2009/2010 (23/488, 4.7%; χ(2)  = 4.065, P = 0.044). The hMPV subtypes A2, B1, and B2 were found to co-circulate, with A2 being most prevalent. These results indicate that hMPV plays a substantial role in pediatric community-acquired pneumonia in China. Overall, these findings provide a better understanding of the epidemiological and clinical features of hMPV infections.

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