Human Metapneumovirus

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a common cause of respiratory tract infections in children, adults, elderly, and immunocompromised patients. In 2016, it was reclassified from the Paramyxovirdae family to the Pneumoviridae family. This virus is comprised of genetic groups A and B that are each divided into subclasses consisting of A1, A2, B1, B2 with year to year variability. HMPV was initially discovered in 2001 in the Netherlands but has been found across the globe. It is spread predominately by respiratory droplets from those who have been infected with the virus.

Infection with HMPV usually occurs by the age of 5 years with reinfection that can occur throughout life. The most predominant clinical scenario caused by HMPV infection is upper and/or lower respiratory tract infections, with lower respiratory tract infections being among the most common. Lower respiratory tract infections due to HMPV can lead to pneumonia, bronchiolitis, as well as acute asthma exacerbations. The mainstay of treatment is supportive care measures with supplemental oxygen, antipyretic agents, and hydration with intravenous fluids if needed.

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