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Human Metapneumovirus: Important but Not Currently Diagnosable

Jo-Anne H. van Burik, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455.

Grant Support: None.

Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Jo-Anne H. van Burik, MD, MMC 250, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; e-mail, vanbu004@umn.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(5):374-375. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-144-5-200603070-00016
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In 2001, van den Hoogen and colleagues (1) isolated human metapneumovirus (hMPV) from 28 children by using nasopharyngeal samples collected over 20 years. Human metapneumovirus was invisible before 2001, in part because the virus did not infect standard cell lines used to isolate respiratory virus pathogens. Five years later, we have a flurry of research activity as investigators try to establish the clinical significance of this paramyxovirus. In this editorial, I will describe the virus and its clinical effects and then address 2 relevant clinical questions: whom to test for infection and which diagnostic test to use.

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