Jpn J Infect Dis. 2013;66(3):195-200.

Characteristics of human metapneumovirus infection prevailing in hospital wards housing patients with severe disabilities.

Matsuda S, Nakamura M, Hirano E, Kiyota N, Omura T, Suzuki Y, Noda M, Kimura H.

Institute for Clinical Research, National Hospital Organization Ehime Hospital, Ehime, Japan.



Epidemics of infectious diseases often occur at long-term inpatient facilities for patients with severe motor and intellectual disabilities. However, the pathogens causing these infections remain unknown in approximately half of such epidemics. Two epidemics of respiratory tract infection occurred in 2 wards in the National Hospital Organization Ehime Hospital (prevalence 1, 34 infected out of 59 inpatients in the A ward in September 2011; prevalence 2, 8 infected out of 58 inpatients in the B ward in June 2012). Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) was detected from the nasal (and some pharyngeal) swabs from 17 patients. Based on phylogenetic analysis of viral genomes, the virus was grouped in subgroup A2 (prevalence 1) and B2 (prevalence 2). We considered that the viruses had spread through the 2 wards. The average duration of high fever in the 42 patients was 6.8 days, with the majority of fevers exceeding 38℃ (79%) and being accompanied by a productive cough. Ten out of 17 patients (59%) in whom HMPV was detected had decreased lymphocyte and increased monocyte counts in the blood. Eleven cases (65%) had elevated-C reactive protein levels and fever protraction as well as images of bronchitis or pneumonia on chest radiographs approximately 1 week after onset. Anti-HMPV antibody in the blood was positive in 95% of patients (151 of 159 inpatients), indicating no relation between HMPV infection and antibody titer but revealing recurrent infections. In view of the fever protraction and frequent co-occurrence of bronchitis and pneumonia at long-term inpatient facilities for immunocompromised patients such as the ones in this study, the prevalence of HMPV must be carefully monitored, and preventive measures and early-stage treatments are required.

PMID: 23698479

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