The impact of infection with human metapneumovirus and other respiratory viruses in young infants and children at high risk for severe pulmonary disease

M. Ines Klein, Silvira Coviello, Gabriela Bauer, Alicia Benitez, M. Elina Serra, M. Paula Schiatti, M. Florencia Delgado, Guillermina A. Melendi, Luis Novalli, Hebe Gonzalez Pena, Ruth A Karron, Steven R. Kleeberger, Fernando P. Polack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We conducted a prospective, observational study to characterize the clinical manifestations of respiratory infections caused by human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and other viruses in 194 premature infants and young children with chronic lung disease or congenital heart disease in Buenos Aires. Children had 567 episodes of respiratory illness and were monitored until they were 2 years old or until the completion of the study. hMPV elicited 12 infections (2%) year-round; 30% were of moderate or greater severity. Human parainfluenza virus type 3 caused 24 infections (4%), and 5 (25%) of 20 lung infections led to hospitalization. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) caused 33 episodes-17% of infections and 32% of hospitalizations during the respiratory season. None of the 10 children infected with influenza virus had severe disease. The present study of at-risk children suggests that hMPV and influenza virus are infrequent agents of severe disease and highlights the need for preventive interventions against RSV in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1544-1551
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology

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