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Human metapneumovirus in the preterm neonate: current perspectives

Authors Maitre N, Williams JV

Received 15 February 2016

Accepted for publication 13 April 2016

Published 28 July 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 41—49

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRN.S76270

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert Schelonka


Nathalie L Maitre,1 John V Williams2

1Center for Perinatal Research, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, 2Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Abstract: Premature birth (<37 weeks gestation) occurs in ~11% of all births in the US. These infants are at risk of chronic lung disease and respiratory conditions, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Respiratory viruses are important causes of acute respiratory illness (ARI) in preterm infants, leading to rehospitalization, increased health care burden, and long-term morbidity. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a paramyxovirus discovered in 2001 that is related to respiratory syncytial virus. Epidemiologic studies show that HMPV is a leading cause of ARI in children and adults worldwide. Prematurity is a major risk factor for severe HMPV disease, requiring hospitalization. Moreover, limited data suggest that HMPV infection during infancy is associated with asthma and recurrent wheezing, which are common long-term pulmonary complication of prematurity. HMPV causes nosocomial outbreaks of ARI in hospitals and long-term care facilities, although there are few studies of the prevalence of HMPV in neonatal intensive care unit populations. HMPV is a common and important virus in premature infants, and caregivers for preterm infants should consider this virus in patients with acute respiratory symptoms.

Keywords: prematurity, chronic lung disease, human metapneumovirus, bronchiolitis, BPD

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