Submitted to: Virus Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2004
Publication Date: 9/15/2004
Citation: Alvarez, R., Jones, L.P., Seal, B.S., Kapczynski, D.R., Tripp, R.A. 2004. Serological cross-reactivity among members of the metapneumovirinae genus. Virus Research. 105:67-73. Interpretive Summary: Avian metapneumoviruses (AMPV) cause an upper respiratory tract disease designated turkey rhinotracheitis (TRT). The disease in commercial turkeys does not usually cause death, but symptoms can be more severe when accompanied by secondary bacterial infections. Prior to 1996 the disease was not found in the United States. However, a new viral subtype C different from European subtype A and B viruses is now present among commercial United States turkey flocks. Reagents utilized to detect these viruses have been developed that recognize proteins of AMPV isolates. Human metapneumovirus virus (HMPV) is a recently discovered respiratory pathogen of humans genetically related to the AMPV subtype C isolate. HMPV was first isolated from young children in The Netherlands with respiratory illness similar to human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Epidemiological data indicated that HMPV co-circulates with RSV in the community and few immunological tools are available to study the virological features of HMPV infection. Reagents developed to detect one of the AMPV structural proteins were also reactive to the human virus and found to be superior to assays currently utilized to detect HMPV. These reagents can now be utilized to detect both the avian and human metapneumoviruses to investigate any potential link between the two agents.
Technical Abstract: Avian metapneumoviruses (AMPV) cause an upper respiratory disease with low mortality, but high morbidity primarily in turkeys that can be exacerbated by secondary infections. There are three AMPV serotypes of which the C type is found only in the United States. Human metapneumovirus virus (HMPV) is also a recently discovered respiratory pathogen of the Paramyxovirus family in the Metapneumovirus genus. HMPV was first isolated from young children in The Netherlands with respiratory illness similar to human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Epidemiological data indicated that HMPV co-circulates with RSV in the community. Few immunological tools are available to study the virological features of HMPV infection, thus current studies rely on reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection. In this study, we examined serological cross-reactivity of HMPV, RSV, and other Metapneumovirus members, i.e. AMPV. We demonstrated that polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies reactive to a conserved region in AMPV nucleoprotein (N) cross-react with HMPV N protein, but not with RSV N protein by ELISA, Western blot and by immunohistochemical assays. These reagents provide new methods for investigating HMPV infection, for differentiating HMPV from RSV infection, and for investigating any potential link between the avian and human metapneumovirses.