Detection of Human Metapneumovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Among Hospitalized Young Children in Iran.

Jundishapur J Microbiol 2016 Mar 15;9(3):e32974. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Department of Pediatrics, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran.

Background: Acute respiratory infection plays an important role in hospitalization of children in developing countries; detection of viral causes in such infections is very important. The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common etiological agent of viral lower respiratory tract infection in children, and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract infections among infants and children.

Objectives: This study evaluated the frequency and seasonal prevalence of hMPV and RSV in hospitalized children under the age of five, who were admitted to Aliasghar children's hospital of Iran University of Medical Sciences from March 2010 until March 2013.

Patients And Methods: Nasopharyngeal or throat swabs from 158 hospitalized children with fever and respiratory distress were evaluated for RSV and hMPV RNA by the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.

Results: Among the 158 children evaluated in this study, 49 individuals (31.1%) had RSV infection while nine individuals (5.7%) had hMPV infection. Five (55.5%) of the hMPV-infected children were male while four (44.5%) were female and 27 (55.2%) of the RSV-infected patients were females and 22 (44.8%) were males. The RSV infections were detected in mainly < one year old children and hMPV infections were detected mainly in > one year old children. Both RSV and hMPV infections had occurred mainly during winter and spring seasons.

Conclusions: Respiratory syncytial virus was the major cause of acute respiratory infection in children under one-year of age while human metapneumovirus had a low prevalence in this group. The seasonal occurrence of both viruses was the same.

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