The recombinant origin of emerging human norovirus GII.4/2008: intra-genotypic exchange of the capsid P2 domain.
ABSTRACT GII.4 noroviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans. A new variant of GII.4, the 2008 variant, has recently increased its prevalence on a global scale. A previous study of this variant in Japan suggested that it might be of recombinant origin, with a breakpoint at the ORF1-ORF2 junction. Here, examination of the evolutionary origin of the 2008 variant based on a larger sample of worldwide GII.4 norovirus sequences revealed a more complex pattern of recombination between the 2006a- and 2006b-like variants of genotype GII.4, involving the P2 antigenic domain. Double (termed '2008i') and triple (termed '2008ii') recombinant forms of 2008 variants were identified. This study highlights the possible importance of intra-genotypic recombination over antigenic regions in driving norovirus evolution, and is suggestive of a process analogous to the antigenic shift of influenza A virus by reassortment.
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ABSTRACT: Noroviruses (NoVs) are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis. Their high incidence and importance in health care facilities result in a great impact on public health. Studies from around the world describing increasing prevalence have been difficult to compare because of differing nomenclatures for variants of the dominant genotype, GII.4. We studied the global patterns of GII.4 epidemiology in relation to its genetic diversity. Data from NoV outbreaks with dates of onset from January 2001 through March 2007 were collected from 15 institutions on 5 continents. Partial genome sequences (n=775) were collected, allowing phylogenetic comparison of data from different countries. The 15 institutions reported 3098 GII.4 outbreaks, 62% of all reported NoV outbreaks. Eight GII.4 variants were identified. Four had a global distribution--the 1996, 2002, 2004, and 2006b variants. The 2003Asia and 2006a variants caused epidemics, but they were geographically limited. Finally, the 2001 Japan and 2001 Henry variants were found across the world but at low frequencies. NoV epidemics resulted from the global spread of GII.4 strains that evolved under the influence of population immunity. Lineages show notable (and currently unexplained) differences in geographic prevalence. Establishing a global NoV network by which data on strains with the potential to cause pandemics can be rapidly exchanged may lead to improved prevention and intervention strategies.The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2009; 200(5):802-12. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The development of an effective human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine is likely to depend on knowledge of circulating variants of genes other than the commonly sequenced gag and env genes. In addition, full-genome data are particularly limited for HIV-1 subtype C, currently the most commonly transmitted subtype in India and worldwide. Likewise, little is known about sequence variation of HIV-1 in India, the country facing the largest burden of HIV worldwide. Therefore, the objective of this study was to clone and characterize the complete genome of HIV-1 from seroconverters infected with subtype C variants in India. Cocultured HIV-1 isolates were obtained from six seroincident individuals from Pune, India, and virtually full-length HIV-1 genomes were amplified, cloned, and sequenced from each. Sequence analysis revealed that five of the six genomes were of subtype C, while one was a mosaic of subtypes A and C, with multiple breakpoints in env, nef, and the 3' long terminal repeat as determined by both maximal chi2 analysis and phylogenetic bootstrapping. Sequences were compared for preservation of known cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes. Compared with those of the HIV-1LAI sequence, 38% of well-defined CTL epitopes were identical. The proportion of nonconservative substitutions for Env, at 61%, was higher (P < 0.001) than those for Gag (24%), Pol (18%), and Nef (32%). Therefore, characterized CTL epitopes demonstrated substantial differences from subtype B laboratory strains, which were most pronounced in Env. Because these clones were obtained from Indian seroconverters, they are likely to facilitate vaccine-related efforts in India by providing potential antigens for vaccine candidates as well as for assays of vaccine responsiveness.Journal of Virology 02/1999; 73(1):152-60. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Noroviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses with high genomic variability. They have emerged in the last decade as a major cause of acute gastroenteritis. It remains so far unclear whether norovirus evolution is driven by sequence mutation and/or recombination. In this study, we have assessed the occurrence of recombination in the norovirus capsid gene. For this purpose, 69 complete capsid sequences of norovirus strains accessible in GenBank as well as 25 complete capsid sequences generated from norovirus-positive clinical samples were examined. Unreported recombination was detected in about 8% of norovirus strains belonging to genetic clusters I/1 (n = 1), II/1 (n = 1), II/3 (n = 1), II/4 (n = 3), and II/5 (n = 1). Recombination breakpoints were mainly located at the interface of the putative P1-1 and P2 domains of the capsid protein and/or within the P2 domain. The recombination region displayed features such as length, sequence composition (upstream and downstream GC- and AU-rich sequences, respectively), and predicted RNA secondary structure that are characteristic of homologous recombination activators. Our results suggest that recombination in the norovirus capsid gene may naturally occur, involving capsid domains presumably exposed to immunological pressure.Journal of Virology 05/2005; 79(8):4977-90. · 5.08 Impact Factor