DOI: 10.1097/inf.0000000000004055 ISSN: 0891-3668

Epidemiology and Clinical Features of Human Metapneumovirus and Respiratory Syncytial Viral Infections in Children

Meghana Nadiger, Prithvi Sendi, Paul A. Martinez, Balagangadhar R. Totapally
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health


Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are 2 common causes of acute respiratory tract infections in infants and young children. The objective of this study is to compare the demographics and outcomes of children hospitalized with HMPV and RSV infections in the United States.


We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of children 1 month to less than 3 years old discharged during 2016 with HMPV or RSV infection using the Kids’ Inpatient Database. Children with HMPV and RSV coinfection were excluded. Data were weighted for national estimates.


There were 6585 children with HMPV infection and 70,824 with RSV infection discharged during the study period. The mean age of children with HMPV infection was higher than that of children with RSV infection (0.73 ± 0.8 vs. 0.42 ± 0.7 years; P < 0.05). The mortality rate was significantly higher in children with the presence of any complex chronic conditions compared to those without, in both HMPV [odds ratio (OR): 32.42; CI: 9.931–105.857; P < 0.05] as well as RSV (OR: 35.81; CI: 21.12–57.97; P < 0.05) groups. The adjusted median length of stay was longer (4.64 days; CI: 4.52–4.76 days vs. 3.33 days; CI: 3.31–3.35 days; P < 0.001) and total charges were higher ($44,358; CI: $42,145–$46,570 vs. $22,839; CI: $22,512–$23,166; P < 0.001), with HMPV infection. The mortality rate was similar in HMPV infection compared to RSV infection on multivariable analysis (OR: 1.48; P > 0.05).


In hospitalized children in the United States, HMPV infection is less common than RSV infection. Complex chronic conditions are more prevalent in children hospitalized with HMPV infection. Hospitalization with HMPV is associated with longer length of stay and higher hospital charges. The adjusted mortality is similar with both infections.

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