Genetic analysis of hepatitis A virus variants circulating among children presenting with acute diarrhea in Cameroon.

Clinical Virology Laboratory, Innovative Biotech, Keffi/Abuja, Nigeria.
Journal of Medical Virology (Impact Factor: 2.22). 05/2012; 84(5):728-32. DOI: 10.1002/jmv.23266
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Molecular investigation was undertaken of circulating hepatitis A virus (HAV) associated with cases of acute diarrhea among children under 5 years of age in Kumba-Cameroon. Reverse transcription PCR, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis of a 371 bp segment of the VP1/P2A junction of six isolates obtained from stool samples showed the exclusive emergence of genetically related HAV subgenotype IA. All the isolates clustered within a unique lineage exhibiting a 99.5% nucleotide identity suggesting infection from a common source. The Cameroonian HAV isolates did not intermix or cluster with those from other regions of Africa and the rest of the world. Tajima's neutralization tests using the six sequences suggested HAV/IA population expansion (D = -1.37; P = 0.016). This is the first description of indigenous HAV genotypes circulating in Cameroon revealing a community-wide spread and predominance of HAV/1A infection in the Kumba area. These findings stress the need for routine molecular tracking of HAV infection as a contributory cause of acute diarrhea in Cameroonian children.

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