Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) has been described as circulating among the Uruguayan population at least since 1998 based on serologic evidence. However, no isolation attempts, molecular detection, or genetic studies have been carried out so far in the country. In the present study, molecular detection of circulating hMPV in children hospitalized with acute respiratory tract infection in Montevideo-Uruguay was carried out by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification of the hMPV nucleoprotein (N) gene from 217 nasopharyngeal aspirates. Genetic variability analysis of the positive samples was performed by amplification and sequencing of both N and attachment glycoprotein (G) genes. Eighteen of the 217 samples tested positive for hMPV, with tachypnea, chest indrawing, and wheezing being the main clinical symptoms recorded. Phylogenetic analysis of N and G genes showed that Uruguayan samples clustered in genotypes described previously as A2, B1, and B2, with bootstrap values >or=98%. Sublineages A2a and A2b could also be distinguished within the samples that belong to A2. This is the first molecular report on the circulation of hMPV in Uruguay. The pattern of circulation of this virus, analyzed for both N and G genes independently, resembles the complex evolutionary pattern of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).