Association of human metapneumovirus with acute otitis media

John V. Williams, Sharon J. Tollefson, Sangeeta Nair, Tasnee Chonmaitree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently described paramyxovirus that has been associated with acute upper and lower respiratory infection (LRI) in infants and children worldwide. We previously observed that one-third of the children with hMPV-associated LRI had been diagnosed with a concomitant acute otitis media (AOM). In the current study, we sought to investigate an association between hMPV and children presenting with AOM as a primary diagnosis. Methods: We used realtime RT-PCR for hMPV to retrospectively test 144 paired nasal wash (NW) and middle ear fluid (MEF) specimens that had been prospectively collected from children with AOM during a 3-year period from 1990-1992. RNA was extracted from archived, frozen samples and realtime RT-PCR for hMPV was performed. Results: We detected hMPV in 8/144 (6%) NW and 1/144 MEF. Several of the children still tested positive for hMPV in NW 3 days later, showing persistent virus shedding. All were detected from November-May and six had bacterial co-pathogens. Two of the eight (25%) hMPV-infected children had no bacterial pathogen isolated, suggesting that hMPV may be associated with AOM as a sole pathogen. Conclusions: These data show that hMPV is associated with a proportion of AOM and thus has additional morbidity and healthcare impact related to these illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1193
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Metapneumovirus
  • Otitis media
  • Paramyxovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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