Genetically similar, the avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) and the human MPV (hMPV) are the only viruses in the Metapneumovirus genus. Previous research demonstrated the ability of hMPV to cause clinical disease in turkeys. In this controlled, cross-sectional, seroepidemiological study, we examined the hypothesis that aMPV might infect humans. We enrolled 95 adults occupationally exposed to turkeys and 82 nonexposed controls. Sera from study participants were examined for antibodies against aMPV and hMPV. Both in bivariate (OR=3.2; 95% CI: 1.1-9.2) and in multivariate modelling adjusting for antibody to hMPV (OR=4.1; 95% CI: 1.3-13.1), meat-processing workers were found to have an increased odds of previous infection with aMPV compared to controls. While hMPV antibody cross-reactivity is evident, these data suggest that occupational exposure to turkeys is a risk factor for human infection with aMPV. More studies are needed to validate these findings, to identify modes of aMPV transmission, and to determine risk factors associated with infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases