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Incidence of Human Metapneumovirus in Hospitalized Patients Admitted for Respiratory Illness in Malaysia

Author Affiliations

  • 1Virology Unit, Infectious Diseases Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, 50588, Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
  • 2 Department of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Malaysia, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, MALAYSIA
  • 3 Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 3, Issue (2), Pages 51-57, February,10 (2014)


Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is an emerging human respiratory pathogen. It clinically resembles respiratory syncytial virus, which causes both upper and lower respiratory tract disease, and has been associated with serious respiratory illness particularly among infants and young children. To date, no published data on the incidence of hMPV infection has been reported in Malaysia. This study was conducted from February 2010 till March 2012. In this period of study, the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Kuala Lumpur received a total of 2600 respiratory samples from hospitalized patients in Malaysia, suspected with upper and lower respiratory tract infection. Out of this number, 625 patient samples were negative for RSV,Adenovirus, Parainfluenza 1, 2, 3, Flu A and Flu B, which are the routine respiratory virus detection done in the laboratory of the department. The negative samples were then analyzed for hMPV by viral culture, and Direct Immunofluorescence assay, for the detection on hMPV in samples. Further confirmation by doing reverse-transcription PCR was done on all 625 respiratory samples. This method targeted hMPV polymerase (L) gene of 170bp fragment. A phylogenetic tree based on 450 bp fragment of the F gene was also constructed. The results of F gene region showed (93%) homology to the reference sequence from the NCBI AAQ67695.1. Out of all the samples analyzed, 130 respiratory samples (20.8%) were positive by viral culture method and by Immunofluorescence assay and 167 (26.7%) were positive for Human metapneumovirus by PCR.The most common clinical findings include fever, cough, and wheezing. Most of the hMPV positive cases were detected were from hMPV A2 sublineage.


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