Navigation Links
Metapneumovirus - a common cause of adults' colds, kids' illness

Researchers are beginning to piece together the scope of this ubiquitous but overlooked bug, which now appears to afflict just about everybody, probably over and over. Even though the virus seems to be rarely serious, its vast presence intrigues microbiologists.//

Like many other respiratory bugs, this one is most likely to cause severe illness in infants encountering it for the first time. Although repeat infections are thought to be common, they result in much less intense illness, often just an ordinary cold or perhaps no symptoms at all.

However, the bug may cause more serious problems in the elderly and people with other medical conditions. Although new microbes, such as the ones that cause AIDS and SARS, are occasionally recognized, it is unusual to discover a virus as omnipresent as this.

"Thousands of hospitalizations occur every year due to this virus in infants," say doctors.

Research suggests that the metapneumovirus is second only to respiratory syncytial virus as a cause of severe lower respiratory infections in the young, occurring about two-thirds as often. Both viruses are members of the paramyxovirus family.

Researchers looked at nasal specimens taken from 2,000 children after they were treated for lower respiratory infections since 1976.

The newly discovered virus turned out to cause about 12 percent of these severe illnesses. They also caused 15 percent of common colds in children, including one-third of the colds complicated by middle-ear infections. "When we put this in perspective, it appears to be the second most common cause of respiratory illnesses in children," they said.

Contracting over and over The virus went undiscovered because it does not grow well in cell cultures, a standard tool for sorting out the viruses that cause human disease. It was identified in 2001 by researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

They calculated that every child catches the virus by age 5. As with many respiratory viruses, such as the rhinoviruses and coronaviruses that cause many colds, the body does not remember the metapneumovirus clearly and so contracts it over and over, even though repeat bouts seem to be milder.

Now that scientists know what to look for, they can seek out the virus' genetic footprints in nasal secretions. This way, they are trying to assess how often -- and how severely -- it makes people sick through life.

In other studies:
? Researchers from McGill University looked at elderly patients hospitalized with pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The metapneumovirus was found in 2 percent, which was the same as influenza A.

? A team from Hadassah University in Jerusalem looked for signs of metapneumovirus infection in children. They found that one-third had been infected by their first birthday, and half had it by age 2.

? Researchers from Oxford University tested children up to age 12 being seen for coughs and fever and found that 8 percent had metapneumovirus. In these youngsters, flu was the most common cause of illness.

Whether the metapneumovirus plays some role in SARS is also a matter of debate. The primary cause of SARS is a newly discovered coronavirus. However, a recent study from Hong Kong found that half of the SARS patients tested during last spring's outbreak were also infected with the metapneumovirus.


Related medicine news :

1. Developmental, neurologic problems common in extremely preterm infants
2. Iron supplementation for a common side effect
3. E. coli strains resistant to a common antibiotic
4. Gastrointestinal ills more common in diabetics
5. Toxic effects common with AIDS treatments
6. Drooping eyelids more common in men
7. Unnatural death common in mentally ill
8. New Drug, Pleconaril speeds recovery from common cold
9. Relief from common back pain
10. Drugs control and industry departments to share a common e-platform
11. Periodontitis a common problem in patients with arthritis
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/24/2015)... IN (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... benefits advisory organization, is pleased to welcome Winter-Dent & Company as its newest ... from day one to become a client's most trusted advisor regardless of whether ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, a ... of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their recovery center. ... treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their recovery program ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Abington Hospital ... Aetna Institute of Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living with morbid ... health care services available to its members to help them make informed decisions ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... and Healthy Aging Program have announced their endorsement of the Medical Fitness ... Health Fitness is proud to have the MFN as one of our endorsed ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... World Patent ... Blending, a household invention that revolutionizes the vending machine industry by providing healthy ... is worth $2 billion," says Scott Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  DILON Diagnostics and GE Healthcare are ... for DILON to distribute GE,s Discovery NM750b Molecular Breast ... of this distribution agreement will provide Dilon,s experienced distribution ... system and is considered an initial step in an ... for clinicians and their patients. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... COMMACK, N.Y. , Nov. 24, 2015 ... Pacemaker System, is pleased to announce the appointment of ... ... and pediatric cardiology at Children,s Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala ... . From 1984-1986, he was a fellow at the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... BERN, Switzerland , November 24, 2015 ... for Biomedical Engineering Research of the University of ... Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of the Bern University ... an exclusive collaboration to develop a novel generation artificial ... personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic patients with the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: