Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a newly identified human respiratory virus now recognized as a major respiratory pathogen of infants and children. To define the seroepidemiology of hMPV, we developed a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on expression of the fusion protein of hMPV (hMPV F) in recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Western blot analysis using an hMPV F-specific antiserum confirmed the expression of hMPV in recombinant VSV. The ELISA is specific for hMPV F; antibody specific for the most closely related human paramyxovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, does not bind to hMPV F. Overall, 216 serum specimens were tested. The percentages of seropositive individuals were 89.1% in children ≤5 months old, 55.0% in children 6 to 11 months old, 36.0% in children 12 to 23 months old, 45.0% in children 24 to 47 months old, 77.3% in children 48 to 59 months old, 91.3% in children 5 to 10 years old, and 95.5% for individuals 11 to 20 years old. This is the first seroepidemiological survey of hMPV in the United States and the first analysis to determine the prevalence of antibody to a specific hMPV protein. The data suggest that exposure to hMPV is common in childhood and that hMPV F is an antigenic determinant of hMPV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)