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Human Metapneumovirus Infection Predisposes Mice To Severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Date:
January 29, 2009
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A new study suggests that prior infection with human metapneumovirus or influenza A virus predisposes mice to a severe secondary bacterial infection with pneumococcal pneumonia.

A new study suggests that prior infection with human metapneumovirus or influenza A virus predisposes mice to a severe secondary bacterial infection with pneumococcal pneumonia. The researchers from the Universitaire de Quebec and Laval University, Quebec, Canada and Virion Systems, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, report their findings in the Journal of Virology.

A newly discovered member of the Paramyxoviridae family, human metapneumovirus (hMPV) has been associated with upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms such as common colds, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Previous studies suggest that hMPV infects virtually all individuals worldwide by the age of 5 resulting in a significant number of hospitalizations of young children. Research on co-infecting pathogens in hMPV-infected individuals has focused more exclusively on other viruses, however some instances of bacterial coinfections in hMPV infected individuals have been reported.

In the study researchers compared the response of mice initially infected with hMPV or influenza A virus followed by superinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae 5 days later to mice infected with hMPV, influenza virus, or pneumococcus alone. Results showed that superinfected mice suffered significant weight loss and greater levels of airway obstruction than those mice only infected with hMPV, influenza, or pneumococcus. Bacterial counts increased in superinfected mice and higher rates of interstitial and alveolar inflammation were also observed.

"Prior infection with either hMPV or influenza A virus predisposes mice to severe pneumococcus infection," say the researchers. "Our results stress the importance of the conjugate pneumococcal vaccine in reducing the severity of hMPV and influenza virus infections by preventing pneumococcal superinfections."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kukavica-Ibrulj et al. Infection with Human Metapneumovirus Predisposes Mice to Severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia. Journal of Virology, 2008; 83 (3): 1341 DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01123-08

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Human Metapneumovirus Infection Predisposes Mice To Severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127093208.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2009, January 29). Human Metapneumovirus Infection Predisposes Mice To Severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127093208.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Human Metapneumovirus Infection Predisposes Mice To Severe Pneumococcal Pneumonia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127093208.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

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