The rapid advancement of molecular tools in the past 15 years has allowed for the retrospective discovery of several new respiratory viruses as well as the characterization of novel emergent strains. The inability to characterize the etiological origins of respiratory conditions, particularly in children, led several researchers to pursue the discovery of the underlying etiology of disease. In 2001, this led to the discovery of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and soon following that the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) promoted an increased interest in coronavirology and the latter discovery of human coronavirus (HCoV) NL63 and HCoV-HKU1. Human bocavirus, with its four separate lineages, discovered in 2005, has been linked to acute respiratory tract infections and gastrointestinal complications. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) represents the most recent outbreak of a completely novel respiratory virus, which occurred in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and presents a significant threat to human health. This review will detail the most current clinical and epidemiological findings to all respiratory viruses discovered since 2001.
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