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Metapneumovirus is a leading cause of respiratory tract infection in infants

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 29 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:246
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    In a substantial proportion of lower respiratory tract infections in children where no virus can be cultured, human metapneumovirus infection is a leading cause of the infection in the first years of life. The resulting spectrum of disease is similar to that seen with respiratory syncytial virus.

    In 2001, researchers in the Netherlands first isolated the new virus from children and adults with acute respiratory tract infection. This RNA virus is closely related to avian pneumovirus. In a new study, researchers sought to define more clearly the aetiological role of this virus in lower respiratory tract infections in previously healthy young children (New England Journal of …

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