Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 483–493

Human metapneumovirus: a new respiratory pathogen



Human metapneumovirus is a recently recognized pathogen of acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) in children as well as elderly and immunocompromised adults. The virus belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae, sub family Pneumovirinae and genus Metapneumovirus. Through genetic analysis it has been characterized into two groups A and B which are further divided into four sub-lineages. The virus is difficult to grow in tissue culture and hence reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for N and L gene is the method of choice for diagnosis. The virus has been seen in all countries with seasonal distribution in winter months for temperate and spring/summer for tropical countries. F gene is the most conserved among different lineages and efforts are underway to design recombination vaccine using F gene.


Acute respiratory infections human metapneumovirus 

Abbreviations used


acute lower respiratory tract infection


avian pneumoviruses


acute respiratory tract infection


cytopathic effect


human metapneumovirus


respiratory syncytial virus


reverse tracriptase-polymerase chain reaction


severe acute respiratory syndrome


small hydrophobic


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© Indian Academy of Sciences 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

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