Human metapneumovirus, rather than RSV, impacts development of hypoxia in asthmatic children
Outbreaks of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) instead of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) appear to have a greater influence on the development of hypoxic respiratory illness in asthmatic children, a recent study has found.
The number of patients maxed out at age 12–15 and 0–3 months in hMPV and in RSV infection, respectively. There was no difference in the proportion of hypoxic patients (40–50 percent) at any age between hMPV- and RSV-infected children.
Analysis of date from >1-year-old patients with hypoxia showed that those in the hMPV-infection group were older (p=0.036) and more frequently had asthma history (p=0.015) or abnormal chest roentgenogram (p<0.001) than those in the RSV-infection group.
In multivariate analysis, factors associated with hypoxia were as follows: history of asthma in both hMPV (odds ratio [OR], 15.8; p<0.001) and RSV infections (OR, 2.2; p=0.005), higher body temperature in hMPV infection (OR, 2.2; p=0.009), and younger age in RSV infection (OR, 1.4; p=0.004).
In this study, the investigators enrolled a total of 1,217 paediatric inpatients with hMPV (n=114) or RSV (n=1,103) infection in Japan between 2011 and 2014. Bronchial asthma was defined as having >3 episodes of wheezing illness >1 year of age. The positive antigen test for each virus in the nasal specimens determined infection.
The leading causes of acute respiratory illness in children are hMPV and RSV, according to the investigators, adding that “[c]linical burden of each infection on the respiratory distress in asthmatic patients remains unclear.”