Pediatric Human Metapneumovirus Clinical Presentation

Updated: May 02, 2018
  • Author: Joseph Domachowske, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Patient history in suspected cases of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) should focus on respiratory symptoms, such as rhinorrhea, congestion, cough, dyspnea, and tachypnea.



A complete physical examination may reveal rhinorrhea, congestion, cough, tachypnea, wheezing, or rales. A high fever with myalgias has been described in some patients. Respiratory failure may ensue, requiring mechanical ventilation.



The respiratory viral pathogen human metapneumovirus causes a spectrum of illnesses, which range from asymptomatic infection to severe bronchiolitis. Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza virus type 1, human metapneumovirus, and human parainfluenza virus type 3 are all known to cause clinical bronchiolitis. Although RSV has been reported to cause as many as 90% of bronchiolitis cases in infants, the relative contribution of human metapneumovirus remains undetermined.

Human metapneumovirus is a negative-sense nonsegmented RNA virus that has been categorized in the pneumovirus subfamily, family Paramyxoviridae, based on genomic sequence and gene constellation.

Phylogenetic tree showing sequence analysis of hum Phylogenetic tree showing sequence analysis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV).