Clinical Features of Human Metapneumovirus-Associated Community-acquired Pneumonia Hospitalizations

Leigh M. Howard*, Kathryn M. Edwards, Yuwei Zhu, Carlos G. Grijalva, Wesley H. Self, Seema Jain, Krow Ampofo, Andrew T. Pavia, Sandra R. Arnold, Jonathan A. McCullers, Evan J. Anderson, Richard G. Wunderink, Derek J. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract infections. Few studies have compared the clinical characteristics and severity of HMPV-associated pneumonia with other pathogens. Methods: Active, population-based surveillance was previously conducted for radiographically confirmed, community-acquired pneumonia hospitalizations among children and adults in 8 United States hospitals. Clinical data and specimens for pathogen detection were systematically collected. We described clinical features of all HMPV-associated pneumonia and, after excluding codetections with other pathogen types, we compared features of HMPV-associated pneumonia with other viral, atypical, and bacterial pneumonia and modeled the severity (mild, moderate, and severe) and length of stay using multivariable proportional odds regression. Results: HMPV was detected in 298/2358 (12.6%) children and 88/2320 (3.8%) adults hospitalized with pneumonia and was commonly codetected with other pathogens (125/298 [42%] children and 21/88 [24%] adults). Fever and cough were the most common presenting symptoms of HMPV-associated pneumonia and were also common symptoms of other pathogens. After excluding codetections in children (n = 1778), compared to HMPV (reference), bacterial pneumonia exhibited increased severity (odds ratio [OR], 3.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.43-9.40), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV; OR, 0.76; 95% CI,. 59-.99) and atypical (OR, 0.39; 95% CI,. 19-.81) infections exhibited decreased severity, and other viral pneumonia exhibited similar severity (OR, 0.88; 95% CI,. 55-1.39). In adults (n = 2145), bacterial (OR, 3.74; 95% CI, 1.87-7.47) and RSV pneumonia (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.32-2.50) were more severe than HMPV (reference), but all other pathogens had similar severity. Conclusions: Clinical features did not reliably distinguish HMPV-associated pneumonia from other pathogens. HMPV-associated pneumonia was less severe than bacterial and adult RSV pneumonia, but was otherwise as or more severe than other common pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-117
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • community-acquired pneumonia
  • human metapneumovirus
  • viral pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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