To the Editor: We wish to report the identification of a novel virus causing lower respiratory tract disease in Australian children. The presence of this virus was recently described in Dutch children and tentatively called human metapneumovirus (hMPV).1 Clinical symptoms of infection are reported to resemble those of human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) infection. We therefore investigated whether the virus was present in Australian children.
- 1. van den Hoogen BG, de Jong JC, Groen J, et al. A newly discovered human pneumovirus isolated from young children with respiratory tract disease. Nature Med 2001; 7: 719-724.
- 2. Genbank. Human metapneumovirus. Accession numbers AF371330-AF371367. National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
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