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author:("He, milan")
1.  Nationwide distribution of varicella-zoster virus clades in China 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2016;16:542.
In 2010, a universal nomenclature for varicella-zoster virus (VZV) clades was established, which is very useful in the monitoring of viral evolution, recombination, spread and genetic diversity. Currently, information about VZV clades has been disclosed worldwide, however, there are limited data regarding the characterization of circulating VZV clades in China, even where varicella remains widely epidemic.
From 2008 to 2012, clinical samples with varicella or zoster were collected in General Hospital in eight provinces and analyzed by PCR, restriction endonuclease digestion and sequencing. The viral clades were determined by analysis of five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the 447-bp fragment of open reading frame (ORF) 22, and the restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of ORF 38 (PstI), ORF 54 (BglI) and ORF 62 (SmaI) were evaluated to understand genetic diversity of VZV and determinate varicella vaccine adverse event (VVAE).
Seventy-seven varicella and 11 zoster samples were identified as being positive for VZV. The five SNPs profile showed that the majority of VZV strains belonged to clade 2, but clade 5 and clade 4 strains were also found in Guangdong. The RFLPs analysis of the DNA fragments of ORF 38, 54 and 62 showed that 85 of these samples were characterized as PstI + BglI + SamI-, and the remaining three VZV strains from varicella patients were characterized as PstI-BglI + SamI+ which is the genetic profile of VVAEs.
The study suggested that the predominant clade 2 VZVs had been continually circulating since at least the 1950s in China. Nearly all VZV strains except VVAEs possessed the genetic profile of PstI + BglI + Sam-. However, the other clades were also found to be co-circulating with clade 2, especially in the border regions. These results highlighted the need for the constant and broad use of virologic surveillance to provide an important genetic baseline for varicella control and vaccination programs in China.
PMCID: PMC5054591  PMID: 27717328
Varicella-zoster virus; Clade; Varicella vaccine adverse event; Genetic profile; China
2.  Evolutionary analysis of rubella viruses in mainland China during 2010–2012: endemic circulation of genotype 1E and introductions of genotype 2B 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:7999.
Rubella remains a significant burden in mainland China. In this report, 667 viruses collected in 24 of 31 provinces of mainland China during 2010–2012 were sequenced and analyzed, significantly extending previous reports on limited numbers of viruses collected before 2010. Only viruses of genotypes 1E and 2B were found. Genotype 1E viruses were found in all 24 provinces. Genotype 1E viruses were likely introduced into mainland China around 1997 and endemic transmission of primarily one lineage became established. Viruses reported here from 2010–2012 are largely in a single cluster within this lineage. Genotype 2B viruses were rarely detected in China prior to 2010. This report documents a previously undetected 2B lineage, which likely became endemic in eastern provinces of China between 2010 and 2012. Bayesian analyses were performed to estimate the evolutionary rates and dates of appearance of the genotype 1E and 2B viral linages in China. A skyline plot of viral population diversity did not provide evidence of reduction of diversity as a result of vaccination, but should be useful as a baseline for such reductions as vaccination programs for rubella become widespread in mainland China.
PMCID: PMC4303870  PMID: 25613734
3.  Genetic Characterization of the Hemagglutinin Genes of Wild-Type Measles Virus Circulating in China, 1993–2009 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73374.
China experienced several large measles outbreaks in the past two decades, and a series of enhanced control measures were implemented to achieve the goal of measles elimination. Molecular epidemiologic surveillance of wild-type measles viruses (MeV) provides valuable information about the viral transmission patterns. Since 1993, virologic surveillnace has confirmed that a single endemic genotype H1 viruses have been predominantly circulating in China. A component of molecular surveillance is to monitor the genetic characteristics of the hemagglutinin (H) gene of MeV, the major target for virus neutralizing antibodies.
Principal Findings
Analysis of the sequences of the complete H gene from 56 representative wild-type MeV strains circulating in China during 1993–2009 showed that the H gene sequences were clustered into 2 groups, cluster 1 and cluster 2. Cluster1 strains were the most frequently detected cluster and had a widespread distribution in China after 2000. The predicted amino acid sequences of the H protein were relatively conserved at most of the functionally significant amino acid positions. However, most of the genotype H1 cluster1 viruses had an amino acid substitution (Ser240Asn), which removed a predicted N-linked glycosylation site. In addition, the substitution of Pro397Leu in the hemagglutinin noose epitope (HNE) was identified in 23 of 56 strains. The evolutionary rate of the H gene of the genotype H1 viruses was estimated to be approximately 0.76×10−3 substitutions per site per year, and the ratio of dN to dS (dN/dS) was <1 indicating the absence of selective pressure.
Although H genes of the genotype H1 strains were conserved and not subjected to selective pressure, several amino acid substitutions were observed in functionally important positions. Therefore the antigenic and genetic properties of H genes of wild-type MeVs should be monitored as part of routine molecular surveillance for measles in China.
PMCID: PMC3779233  PMID: 24073194
4.  Functional and Structural Characterization of Neutralizing Epitopes of Measles Virus Hemagglutinin Protein 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(1):666-675.
Effective vaccination programs have dramatically reduced the number of measles-related deaths globally. Although all the available data suggest that measles eradication is biologically feasible, a structural and biochemical basis for the single serotype nature of measles virus (MV) remains to be provided. The hemagglutinin (H) protein, which binds to two discrete proteinaceous receptors, is the major neutralizing target. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) recognizing distinct epitopes on the H protein were characterized using recombinant MVs encoding the H gene from different MV genotypes. The effects of various mutations on neutralization by MAbs and virus fitness were also analyzed, identifying the location of five epitopes on the H protein structure. Our data in the present study demonstrated that the H protein of MV possesses at least two conserved effective neutralizing epitopes. One, which is a previously recognized epitope, is located near the receptor-binding site (RBS), and thus MAbs that recognize this epitope blocked the receptor binding of the H protein, whereas the other epitope is located at the position distant from the RBS. Thus, a MAb that recognizes this epitope did not inhibit the receptor binding of the H protein, rather interfered with the hemagglutinin-fusion (H-F) interaction. This epitope was suggested to play a key role for formation of a higher order of an H-F protein oligomeric structure. Our data also identified one nonconserved effective neutralizing epitope. The epitope has been masked by an N-linked sugar modification in some genotype MV strains. These data would contribute to our understanding of the antigenicity of MV and support the global elimination program of measles.
PMCID: PMC3536376  PMID: 23115278
5.  Emergence and Continuous Evolution of Genotype 1E Rubella Viruses in China 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(2):353-363.
In China, rubella vaccination was introduced into the national immunization program in 2008, and a rubella epidemic occurred in the same year. In order to know whether changes in the genotypic distribution of rubella viruses have occurred in the postvaccination era, we investigate in detail the epidemiological profile of rubella in China and estimate the evolutionary rate, molecular clock phylogeny, and demographic history of the predominant rubella virus genotypes circulating in China using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo phylodynamic analyses. 1E was found to be the predominant rubella virus genotype since its initial isolation in China in 2001, and no genotypic shift has occurred since then. The results suggest that the global 1E genotype may have diverged in 1995 and that it has evolved at a mutation rate of 1.65 × 10−3 per site per year. The Chinese 1E rubella virus isolates were grouped into either cluster 1 or cluster 2, which likely originated in 1997 and 2006, respectively. Cluster 1 viruses were found in all provinces examined in this study and had a mutation rate of 1.90 × 10−3 per site per year. The effective number of infections remained constant until 2007, and along with the introduction of rubella vaccine into the national immunization program, although the circulation of cluster 1 viruses has not been interrupted, some viral lineages have disappeared, and the epidemic started a decline that led to a decrease in the effective population size. Cluster 2 viruses were found only in Hainan Province, likely because of importation.
PMCID: PMC3264136  PMID: 22162559
6.  Rubella Virus Genotypes in the People's Republic of China between 1979 and 2007: a Shift in Endemic Viruses during the 2001 Rubella Epidemic▿ † 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(5):1775-1781.
The incidence of rubella cases in China from 1991 to 2007 was reviewed, and the nucleotide sequences from 123 rubella viruses collected during 1999 to 2007 and 4 viral sequences previously reported from 1979 to 1984 were phylogenetically analyzed. Rubella vaccination was not included in national immunization programs in China before 2007. Changes in endemic viruses were compared with incidences of rubella epidemics. The results showed that rubella epidemics occur approximately every 6 to 8 years (1993/1994, 2001, and 2007), and a shift of disease burden to susceptible young adults was observed. The Chinese rubella virus sequences were categorized into 5 of the 13 rubella virus genotypes, 1a, 1E, 1F, 2A, and 2B; cocirculations of these different genotypes were found in China. In Anhui province, a shift in the predominant genotype from 1F and 2B to 1E coincided with the 2001 rubella epidemic. This shift may have occurred throughout China during 2001 to 2007. This study investigated the genotype distribution of rubella viruses in China over a 28-year period to establish an important genetic baseline in China during its prevaccination era.
PMCID: PMC2863877  PMID: 20351211
7.  A novel nucleotide insertion in S gene of hepatitis B virus in a chronic carrier 
Virology Journal  2010;7:104.
Hepatitis B virus DNA was extracted from serum of a chronic carrier and polymerase chain reaction was performed on S gene. Direct sequencing showed a variant HBsAg with additional 4-amino acid insertion, and clone sequencing confirmed the mixture of variant HBsAg and wildtype HBsAg. Of 16 clones with 12-nucleotide insertion, 15 clones had identical AGAACAACACAA insertion between nucleotide 494 and nucleotide 495, and one clone had GGAACAACTCAA insertion in the same position plus 3-nucleotide deletion from nucleotide 491 to nucleotide 493. S114T, C121Y, T126S/A, Q129K, G130R, T131N, M133T, G145R, N146D substitution and premature stop codon were also found in those clones. However, the origin of HBV with 4-amino acid insertion in HBsAg was unclear.
PMCID: PMC2893152  PMID: 20492719
8.  Genetic characterization of Measles Viruses in China, 2004 
Virology Journal  2008;5:120.
Genetic characterization of wild-type measles virus was studied using nucleotide sequencing of the C-terminal region of the N protein gene and phylogenetic analysis on 59 isolates from 16 provinces of China in 2004. The results showed that all of the isolates belonged to genotype H1. 51 isolates were belonged to cluster 1 and 8 isolates were cluster 2 and Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China without distinct geographic pattern. The nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of the 59 H1 strains were 96.5%–100% and 95.7%–100%, respectively. The report showed that the transmission pattern of genotype H1 viruses in China in 2004 was consistent with ongoing endemic transmission of multiple lineages of a single, endemic genotype. Multiple transmission pathways leaded to multiple lineages within endemic genotype.
PMCID: PMC2600640  PMID: 18928575
9.  Molecular epidemiology of measles viruses in China, 1995–2003 
Virology Journal  2007;4:14.
This report describes the genetic characterization of 297 wild-type measles viruses that were isolated in 24 provinces of China between 1995 and 2003. Phylogenetic analysis of the N gene sequences showed that all of the isolates belonged to genotype H1 except 3 isolates, which were genotype A. The nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid homologies of the 294-genotype H1 strains were 94.7%–100% and 93.3%–100%, respectively. The genotype H1 isolates were divided into 2 clusters, which differed by approximately 2.9% at the nucleotide level. Viruses from both clusters were distributed throughout China with no apparent geographic restriction and multiple co-circulating lineages were present in many provinces. Even though other measles genotypes have been detected in countries that border China, this report shows that genotype H1 is widely distributed throughout the country and that China has a single, endemic genotype. This important baseline data will help to monitor the progress of measles control in China.
PMCID: PMC1802751  PMID: 17280609

Results 1-9 (9)