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Genetic characterization of Human astrovirus infection in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, 2007–2008

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Human astrovirus (HAstV) was an important cause of viral gastroenteritis in infants in Wuhan city based on our previous study. The aim of the study was to investigate the nature of HAstV infection in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, especially in adults. Stool specimens were collected from 361 children and 301 adults with diarrhea from July 2007 to June 2008 and were tested for HAstV RNA by RT-PCR. The 348-bp PCR product of positive samples was further sequenced and analyzed for multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree. HAstV RNA was detected in 2.33% (7/301) adults, which was significantly lower than that in children (13.57%, 49/361). HAstV-positive patients were either older than 50 years of age or younger than 3. Genetic analysis showed that the HAstV strain in adults was the same as that in children in 2007–2008. Contrarily, HAstV strains prevalent in 2007–2008 showed genetic characteristics different from those in 2004–2005 and belonged to two new groups of HAstV-1b. Thus, our data characterized HAstV infection in Wuhan 2007–2008, suggesting that HAstV infection also played an important role in adults in Wuhan, especial in patients of >50 years, and should be included for routine diagnosis in the population with diarrheal illness.

Keywords: China; Chine; Human astrovirus (HAstV); adultes; adults; astrovirus humain (HAstV); diarrhea; diarrhée; molecular epidemiology; épidémiologie moléculaire

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathogenic Biology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, Hubei, People’s Republic of China. 2: Division of Virology, Wuhan Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Wuhan 430015, Hubei, People’s Republic of China. 3: Department of Hygiene, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, S-1 W-17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-8556, Japan.

Publication date: November 20, 2011

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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