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BACKGROUND: Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a pneumovirus known to cause respiratory disease in children. It was identified as a pathogen in 2001 and its healthcare burden and associated costs are not fully understood. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the clinical characteristics of children with HMPV infection admitted to paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) across the United Kingdom (UK) over a nine-year period and to estimate the associated costs of care. STUDY DESIGN: Data were collected from the UK paediatric intensive care audit network (PICANet) and costs calculated using the National Health Service (NHS) reference costing scheme. RESULTS: There were 114 admissions in which HMPV was detected. The number of admissions associated with a code of HMPV rose steadily over the study period (three in 2006 to 28 in 2014) and showed significant seasonal variability, with the peak season being from November to May. Children required varying levels of intensive care support from minimal to complex support including invasive ventilation, inotropes, renal replacement therapy and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). HMPV was associated with five deaths during the study period. The associated costs of PICU admissions were estimated to be between £2,256,823 and £3,997,823 over the study period, with estimated annual costs rising over the study period due to increasing HMPV admissions. CONCLUSIONS: HMPV is associated with a significant healthcare burden and associated cost of care in PICUs in the UK.

Original publication




Journal article


J Clin Virol

Publication Date





15 - 19


Cost, Human metapneumovirus, Intensive care, PICU, Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Cost of Illness, Female, Hospitalization, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Intensive Care Units, Pediatric, Male, Metapneumovirus, National Health Programs, Paramyxoviridae Infections, Retrospective Studies, Seasons, United Kingdom