Rapid metagenomic next-generation sequencing during an investigation of hospital-acquired human parainfluenza virus 3 infections

Alexander L. Greninger, Danielle M. Zerr, Xuan Qin, Amanda L. Adler, Reigran Sampoleo, Jane M. Kuypers, Janet A. Englund, Keith R. Jerome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) is increasingly used for the unbiased detection of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and eukaryotic parasites in clinical samples. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of clinical bacterial isolates has been shown to inform hospital infection prevention practices, but this technology has not been utilized during potential respiratory virus outbreaks. Here, we report on the use of mNGS to inform the real-time infection prevention response to a cluster of hospital-acquired human parainfluenza 3 virus (HPIV3) infections at a children's hospital. Samples from 3 patients with hospital-acquired HPIV3 identified over a 12-day period on a general medical unit and 10 temporally associated samples from patients with community-acquired HPIV3 were analyzed. Our sample-tosequencer time was <24 h, while our sample-to-answer turnaround time was <60 h with a hands-on time of approximately 6 h. Eight (2 cases and 6 controls) of 13 samples had sufficient sequencing coverage to yield the whole genome for HPIV3, while 10 (2 cases and 8 controls) of 13 samples gave partial genomes and all 13 samples had >1 read for HPIV3. Phylogenetic clustering revealed the presence of identical HPIV3 genomic sequence in the two of the cases with hospital-acquired infection, consistent with the concern for recent transmission within the medical unit. Adequate sequence coverage was not recovered for the third case. This work demonstrates the promise of mNGS for providing rapid information for infection prevention in addition to microbial detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • HPIV3
  • Hospital-acquired infections
  • Human parainfluenza 3 virus
  • Infection prevention
  • Metagenomics
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Parainfluenza
  • Rapid sequencing
  • Viral sequencing
  • mNGS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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