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Title: Human metapneumovirus, its epidemic waves, innate immune response and associated with extra-pulmonary manifestations
Author: Zahra, Graziella
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Respiratory tract infections are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Although the classical manifestations of respiratory tract infections are defined, the pathological cause responsible for disease is not often identified. Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) causes a spectrum of illnesses ranging from asymptomatic infection to severe bronchiolitis. Little is yet known about the pathophysiology of hMPV infection, however, it is similar to the related pneumovirus and human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV). Since hMPV appears to cause disease similar to that of hRSV, one can hypothesize that hMPV also causes similar extra-pulmonary manifestations. The objectives of this thesis were divided into three main areas; prevalence / diagnosis, immune response, and role of hMPV in extra-pulmonary manifestations. This study reports, for the first time, the prevalence and clinical picture of hMPV infection in the Maltese community. Moreover, it suggests that the use of detection assays such as real-time PCR would be very helpful in the diagnosis and early treatment of viral respiratory pathogens, such as hMPV especially in pediatric and immunocompromised patients. This study also suggests that multiplex RT-PCR assays reduce the turnaround time and have higher detection rates than shell vial cultures. Up to now, there have been no confirmed reports of hMPV causing disease outside the respiratory tract. Although a positive hMPV result in a subject with documented myocarditis suggests that hMPV was the sole etiological agent, the association of this virus with myocarditis was not statistically significant. Nevertheless, to investigate this potential relationship further large prospective studies are needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available