Human Metapneumovirus

Microbiol Spectr. 2014 Oct;2(5). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.AID-0020-2014.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a paramyxovirus identified in 2001, is a leading cause of respiratory tract infections in both children and adults. Seroprevalence studies demonstrate that the primary infection occurs before the age of 5 years, and humans are reinfected throughout life. The four subgroups of HMPV occur with year-to-year variability, and infection with one subgroup confers some serologic cross-protection. Experimental vaccines elicit a humoral response in both animal and human models and have been used to identify antigenic determinants. The main target of protective antibodies is the fusion (F) protein, although many of the remaining eight proteins are immunogenic. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the F protein are both protective and therapeutic in animal models. Most recently, the identification of broadly neutralizing antibodies against HMPV and respiratory syncytial virus demonstrates that common epitopes are present between the two viruses. Broadly neutralizing mAbs have significant clinical implications for prophylaxis and treatment of high-risk hosts as well as vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cross Protection
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Metapneumovirus / classification
  • Metapneumovirus / immunology
  • Metapneumovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral