Objectives: To confirm the presence of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) in New Zealand and establish its prevalence in selected paediatric patient groups.
Methods: Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected in two separate paediatric studies enrolling children clinically diagnosed with either bronchiolitis or pneumonia and tested for hMPV by polymerase chain reaction.
Results: Nucleic acid detection tests demonstrated 5.3% of paediatric bronchiolitis cases were positive for hMPV RNA and 2.7% of children admitted with pneumonia tested positive for hMPV RNA.
Conclusions: The presence of hMPV in New Zealand has been confirmed in two selected paediatric patient groups, namely children diagnosed with bronchiolitis and pneumonia. These results indicate that hMPV is associated with a minority of cases of bronchiolitis or pneumonia in this patient group.