Mona Z Zaghloul*
Microbiology Unit, Department of Clinical Pathology, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt
- *Corresponding Author:
- Mona Z Zaghloul
Assistant Consultant in the Microbiology Unit
Clinical Pathology Department, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 23, 2012; Accepted Date: April 23, 2012; Published Date: April 24, 2012
Citation: Zaghloul MZ (2012) Human Metapneumovirus. Air Water Borne Dis 1:e108. doi:10.4172/2167-7719.1000e108
Copyright: © 2012 Zaghloul MZ. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a cause of both upper and lower respiratory tract infections among children, adults and immunocompromised hosts. It was first reported in Netherlands. In 2001, van den Hoogen et al.  described the identification of this new human viral pathogen from respiratory samples submitted for viral culture during winter season. Human metapneumovirus has been found also in other countries worldwide such as Australia , Canada , Finland , France, United Kingdom, Spain , Japan  and the United states .
Human metapneumovirus is a negative-sense non segmented RNA virus that belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family . Phylogenetically, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the closest human virus related to hMPV . It appears to have a tropism for the respiratory epithelium . The patient may be asymptomatic or symptoms may range from mild upper respiratory tract complains to severe bronchiolitis and pneumonia with respiratory failure necessitating mechanical ventilation [11,12]. Serological studies showed that by the age of five years, virtually all children are exposed to human metapneumovirus and that the virus has been circulating in humans for at least 50 years . Several studies have shown that hMPV is an important etiologic agent of respiratory tract infections in children and adults and can reinfect an individual later in life .
For laboratory diagnosis, the most definitive test is virus isolation by cell culture using the LLC-MK2 or Vero E6 cell lines , the growth of hMPV is slow and often requires several blind passages before any cytopathic effect (CPE) is apparent, thus molecular method such as reverse- transcription PCR (RT-PCR) has been used as the preferred test . Suspected hMPV infection is preferred to be diagnosed by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) from respiratory secretions such as nasopharyngeal aspirates, nasopharyngeal swabs or bronchoalveolar lavage specimens  as a test of choice with the highest sensitivity . Such samples are routinely examined for other common respiratory viruses first by direct fluorescent antigen (DFA) or enzyme immunoassays (EIA) or electrospray ionization mass spectrometry following broad-range reverse transcription-PCR (RTPCR/ ESI-MS)  considering the prevalence of hMPV disease is an urgent need for such assays . Oral ribavirin was used as a treatment of of severe human metapneumovirus pneumonia (hMPV) in immune compromised child .
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