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author:("Xu, weno")
1.  Adenoviruses Associated with Acute Respiratory Diseases Reported in Beijing from 2011 to 2013 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0121375.
Adenovirus is one of the most common causes of viral acute respiratory infections. To identify the types of human adenoviruses (HAdVs) causing respiratory illness in Beijing, a sentinel surveillance project on the viral aetiology of acute respiratory infection was initiated in 2011.
Principal findings
Through the surveillance project, 4617 cases of respiratory infections were identified during 2011-2013. Throat swabs (pharynx and tonsil secretions) were collected from all the patients, and 15 different respiratory viruses were screened by multiplex one-step PCR method. 45 were identified as adenovirus-positive from sporadic and outbreak cases of respiratory infection by a multiplex one-step RT-PCR method, and a total of 21 adenovirus isolates were obtained. Five HAdV types among three species, including HAdV-3 (species HAdV-B), HAdV-4 (species HAdV-E), HAdV-7 (species HAdV-B), HAdV-55 (species HAdV-B), and an undefined HAdV type (species HAdV-C) were identified. The comparison results of the penton base, hexon, and fiber gene sequences of the Beijing HAdV-3, HAdV-4, HAdV-7, and HAdV-55 strains in this study and those from the GenBank database indicated significant spatial and temporal conservation and stability of sequences within the genome; however, the phylogenetic relationship indicated that both strain BJ04 and strain BJ09 isolated in 2012 and 2013, respectively, may have recombined between HAdV-1 genome and HAdV-2 genome within species HAdV-C, indicating intraspecies recombination.
This study confirmed that at least 5 HAdV types including HAdV-3, HAdV-4, HAdV-7, HAdV-55 and an undefined HAdV type were co-circulating and were the causative agents of respiratory tract infections in recent years in Beijing. HAdV-3, HAdV-4, HAdV-7, and HAdV-55 showed the apparent stability of the genomes, while intraspecies recombination was identified in strain BJ04 and BJ09. The recombinants carrying penton base gene of HAdV-1 as well as hexon and fiber genes of HAdV-2 might be a novel type of HAdV worthy of further study.
PMCID: PMC4376766  PMID: 25816320
2.  Endemic and Imported Measles Virus–Associated Outbreaks among Adults, Beijing, China, 2013 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2015;21(3):477-479.
In 2013, a resurgence of measles occurred in Beijing, China. The outbreaks occurred among adults and were associated with endemic genotype H1 and imported genotype D8 viruses. Migrant workers were disproportionately represented in the outbreaks; thus, vaccinating such workers against measles may be an effective strategy toward the elimination of this disease.
PMCID: PMC4344261  PMID: 25695536
adults; measles; outbreak; genotype H1; genotype D8; Beijing; China; viruses; endemic measles; imported measles
3.  Environmental Surveillance of Human Enteroviruses in Shandong Province, China, 2008 to 2012: Serotypes, Temporal Fluctuation, and Molecular Epidemiology 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2014;80(15):4683-4691.
Environmental surveillance is an effective approach in investigating the circulation of polioviruses (PVs) and other human enteroviruses (EVs) in the population. The present report describes the results of environmental surveillance conducted in Shandong Province, China, from 2008 to 2012. A total of 129 sewage samples were collected, and 168 PVs and 1,007 nonpolio enteroviruses (NPEVs) were isolated. VP1 sequencing and typing were performed on all isolates. All PV strains were Sabin-like, with the numbers of VP1 substitutions ranging from 0 to 7. The NPEVs belonged to 19 serotypes, and echovirus 6 (E6), E11, coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), E3, E12, and E7 were the six main serotypes, which accounted for 18.3%, 14.8%, 14.5%, 12.9%, 9.0%, and 5.7% of NPEVs isolated, respectively. Typical summer-fall peaks of NPEV were observed in the monthly distribution of isolation, and an epidemic pattern of annual circulation was revealed for the common serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis was performed on environmental CVB3 and E3 strains with global reference strains and local strains from aseptic meningitis patients. Shandong strains formed distinct clusters, and a close relationship was observed between local environmental and clinical strains. As an EV-specific case surveillance system is absent in China and many other countries, continuous environmental surveillance should be encouraged to investigate the temporal circulation and phylogeny of EVs in the population.
PMCID: PMC4148804  PMID: 24837389
4.  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
5.  Limited and Localized Outbreak of Newly Emergent Type 2 Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus in Sichuan, China 
From August 2011 to February 2012, an outbreak caused by type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) occurred in Aba County, Sichuan, China. During the outbreak, four type 2 VDPVs (≥0.6% nucleotide divergence in the VP1 region relative to the Sabin 2 strain) were isolated from 3 patients with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) and one close contact. In addition, a type 2 pre-VDPV (0.3% to 0.5% divergence from Sabin 2) that was genetically related to these type 2 VDPVs was isolated from another AFP patient. These 4 patients were all unimmunized children 0.7 to 1.1 years old. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that the 4 VDPV isolates differed from Sabin 2 by 0.7% to 1.2% in nucleotides in the VP1 region and shared 5 nucleotide substitutions with the pre-VDPV. All 5 isolates were closely related, and all were S2/S3/S2/S3 recombinants sharing common recombination crossover sites. Although the two major determinants of attenuation and temperature sensitivity phenotype of Sabin 2 (A481 in the 5′ untranslated region and Ile143 in the VP1 protein) had reverted in all 5 isolates, one VDPV (strain CHN16017) still retained the temperature sensitivity phenotype. Phylogenetic analysis of the third coding position of the complete P1 coding region suggested that the cVDPVs circulated locally for about 7 months following the initiating oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) dose. Our findings reinforce the point that cVDPVs can emerge and spread in isolated communities with immunity gaps and highlight the emergence risks of type 2 cVDPVs accompanying the trivalent OPV used. To solve this issue, it is recommended that type 2 OPV be removed from the trivalent OPV or that inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) be used instead.
PMCID: PMC4097442  PMID: 24850620
6.  Outbreak of Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis Caused by Human Adenovirus Type 56, China, 2012 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110781.
HAdV-56 is a new recombinant type isolated from epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) patients and has been sporadically isolated in Japan several times. Here, an outbreak of EKC in the city of Dalian, China involving a large number of workers in two factories was reported; this was the first outbreak of EKC associated with HAdV-56 worldwide.
PMCID: PMC4208770  PMID: 25343525
7.  Evolutionary genetics of genotype H1 measles viruses in China from 1993 to 2012 
The Journal of General Virology  2014;95(Pt 9):1892-1899.
Virologic surveillance is a critical component of measles management. One of the criteria for verification of elimination of endemic measles is genetic analysis of wild-type viruses to demonstrate lack of an indigenous genotype. Measles is yet to be eliminated in China, and genotype H1 has been detected continuously since virologic surveillance was initiated in 1993. Virologic surveillance has been very active in China, providing a unique opportunity to conduct a detailed study of the evolution of a single, endemic genotype over a timespan of nearly two decades. Phylogenetic analysis performed on the 450 nt coding sequence for the C-terminal 150 amino acids of the nucleoprotein (N-450), fusion (F) gene and haemagglutinin (H) gene confirmed the continued circulation of genotype H1 viruses for 19 years. No evidence of selective pressure for the H protein was found. The substitution rates ranged from 0.75×10−3 substitutions site−1 year−1 for H to 1.65×10−3 substitutions site−1 year−1 for N-450. The time of most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) for genotype H1 was estimated as approximately 1985 (95 % highest probability density, 1979–1989). Finally, the overall diversity of measles sequences from China decreased from 2005 to 2012, coincident with a substantial decrease in measles cases. The results suggest that detailed evolutionary analyses should facilitate the documentation of eventual measles elimination in China. Moreover, the molecular approaches used in this study can be applied in other countries approaching measles elimination.
PMCID: PMC4135087  PMID: 24914068
8.  Phylogenetic evidence for multiple intertypic recombinations in enterovirus B81 strains isolated in Tibet, China 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6035.
Enterovirus B81 (EV-B81) is a newly identified serotype within the species enterovirus B (EV-B). To date, only eight nucleotide sequences of EV-B81 have been published and only one full-length genome sequence (the prototype strain) has been made available in the GenBank database. Here, we report the full-length genome sequences of two EV-B81 strains isolated in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China during acute flaccid paralysis surveillance activities, and we also conducted an antibody seroprevalence study in two prefectures of Tibet. The sequence comparison and phylogenetic dendrogram analysis revealed high variability among the global EV-B81 strains and frequent intertypic recombination in the non-structural protein region of EV-B serotypes, suggesting high genetic diversity of EV-B81. However, low positive rates and low titers of neutralizing antibodies against EV-B81 were detected. Nearly 68% of children under the age of five had no neutralizing antibodies against EV-B81. Hence, the extent of transmission and the exposure of the population to this EV type are very limited. Although little is known about the biological and pathogenic properties of EV-B81 because of few research in this field owing to the limited number of isolates, our study provides basic information for further studies of EV-B81.
PMCID: PMC4129410  PMID: 25112835
9.  Viral Etiologies of Hospitalized Acute Lower Respiratory Infection Patients in China, 2009-2013 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99419.
Acute lower respiratory infections (ALRIs) are an important cause of acute illnesses and mortality worldwide and in China. However, a large-scale study on the prevalence of viral infections across multiple provinces and seasons has not been previously reported from China. Here, we aimed to identify the viral etiologies associated with ALRIs from 22 Chinese provinces.
Methods and Findings
Active surveillance for hospitalized ALRI patients in 108 sentinel hospitals in 24 provinces of China was conducted from January 2009-September 2013. We enrolled hospitalized all-age patients with ALRI, and collected respiratory specimens, blood or serum collected for diagnostic testing for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human influenza virus, adenoviruses (ADV), human parainfluenza virus (PIV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), human coronavirus (hCoV) and human bocavirus (hBoV).
We included 28,369 ALRI patients from 81 (of the 108) sentinel hospitals in 22 (of the 24) provinces, and 10,387 (36.6%) were positive for at least one etiology. The most frequently detected virus was RSV (9.9%), followed by influenza (6.6%), PIV (4.8%), ADV (3.4%), hBoV (1.9), hMPV (1.5%) and hCoV (1.4%). Co-detections were found in 7.2% of patients. RSV was the most common etiology (17.0%) in young children aged <2 years. Influenza viruses were the main cause of the ALRIs in adults and elderly. PIV, hBoV, hMPV and ADV infections were more frequent in children, while hCoV infection was distributed evenly in all-age. There were clear seasonal peaks for RSV, influenza, PIV, hBoV and hMPV infections.
Our findings could serve as robust evidence for public health authorities in drawing up further plans to prevent and control ALRIs associated with viral pathogens. RSV is common in young children and prevention measures could have large public health impact. Influenza was most common in adults and influenza vaccination should be implemented on a wider scale in China.
PMCID: PMC4063718  PMID: 24945280
10.  Prevalence of Nonpolio Enteroviruses in the Sewage of Guangzhou City, China, from 2009 to 2012 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2013;79(24):7679-7683.
The human-pathogenic viruses in urban sewage have been extensively monitored to obtain information on circulating viruses in human communities. Enteroviruses (EVs) excreted by patients who present with diverse clinical syndromes can remain infectious in the environment for several weeks, and limited data on circulating environmental EVs are available. A 4-year (2009 to 2012) surveillance study was conducted to detect nonpolio enteroviruses (NPEVs) in the urban sewage of Guangzhou city, China. After the viruses in the sewage samples were concentrated and isolated, molecular identification was used to detect and type the NPEVs. During the 4-year study, 17 different NPEV serotypes were identified in the sewage of Guangzhou city. The most common serotypes were echovirus 11 (ECHO11), ECHO6, ECHO7, and ECHO12 and coxsackie group B viruses 5 (CVB5) and CVB3. The predominant serotypes were influenced by spatial and temporal factors and differed each year. CVB5 was commonly detected in 2009 and 2010 but was rarely isolated in 2011 and 2012. In contrast, CVB3 was not observed in 2009 and 2010 but was increasingly detected in 2011 and 2012. Our study provides an overview of the serotype distribution and circulation patterns of NPEVs in the sewage of Guangzhou, China. In the absence of a systematic EV disease surveillance system, the detection and characterization of sewage-borne NPEVs will help us better understand the changes in EV disease trends and the epidemic background of circulating EVs, which could help interpret the EV trends and warn of future outbreaks in this area.
PMCID: PMC3837794  PMID: 24096418
12.  Complete Genome Characterization of a Novel Enterovirus Type EV-B106 Isolated in China, 2012 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:4255.
Human enterovirus B106 (EV-B106) is a recently identified member of enterovirus species B. In this study, we report the complete genomic characterization of an EV-B106 strain (148/YN/CHN/12) isolated from an acute flaccid paralysis patient in Yunnan Province, China. The new strain had 79.2–81.3% nucleotide and 89.1–94.8% amino acid similarity in the VP1 region with the other two EV-B106 strains from Bolivia and Pakistan. When compared with other EV serotypes, it had the highest (73.3%) VP1 nucleotide similarity with the EV-B77 prototype strain CF496-99. However, when aligned with all EV-B106 and EV-B77 sequences available from the GenBank database, two major frame shifts were observed in the VP1 coding region, which resulted in substantial (20.5%) VP1 amino acid divergence between the two serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis and similarity plot analysis revealed multiple recombination events in the genome of this strain. This is the first report of the complete genome of EV-B106.
PMCID: PMC3939458  PMID: 24584702
13.  New Coxsackievirus B4 Genotype Circulating in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90379.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) surveillance was initiated in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China in 2007, a crucial scrutiny for monitoring the prevalence of enterovirus serotypes associated with HFMD patients. However, this surveillance mostly focused on enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16; therefore, information on other enterovirus serotypes is limited. To identify the other circulating enterovirus serotypes in the HFMD outbreaks in Inner Mongolia in 2010, clinical samples from HFMD patients were investigated. Six coxsackievirus B4 (CVB4) strains were isolated and phylogenetic analyses of VP1 sequences were performed. Full-length genome sequences of two representative CVB4 isolates were acquired and similarity plot and bootscanning analyses were performed. The phylogenetic dendrogram indicated that all CVB4 strains could be divided into 5 genotypes (Genotypes I–V) with high bootstrap support (90–100%). The CVB4 prototype strain (JVB) was the sole member of genotype I. CVB4 strains belonging to genotype II, which were once common in Europe and the Americas, seemingly disappeared and gave way to genotype III and IV strains, which appear to be the dominant circulating strains in the world. All Chinese CVB4 strains belonged to Genotype V, a newly identified genotype supported by a high bootstrap value (100%), and are circulating only in mainland of China. Intertypic recombination occurred in the Chinese CVB4 strains with novel unknown serotype EV-B donor sequences. Two Chinese CVB4 strains had a virulent residue at position 129 of VP1, and one strain also had a virulent residue at position 16 of VP4. Increased surveillance is needed to monitor the emergence of new genetic lineages of enteroviruses in areas that are often associated with large-scale outbreaks. In addition, continued monitoring of enteroviruses by clinical surveillance and genetic characterization should be enhanced.
PMCID: PMC3940859  PMID: 24595311
14.  Whole Genomic Sequence and Replication Kinetics of a New Enterovirus C96 Isolated from Guangdong, China with a Different Cell Tropism 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86877.
Enterovirus 96 (EV-C96) is a newly described serotype within the enterovirus C (EV-C) species, and its biological and pathological characters are largely unknown. In this study, we sequenced the whole genome of a novel EV-C96 strain that was isolated in 2011 from a patient with acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) in Guangdong province, China and characterized the properties of its infection. Sequence analysis revealed the close relationship between the EV-C96 strains isolated from the Guangdong and Shandong provinces of China, and suggested that recombination events occurred both between these EV-C96 strains and with other EV-C viruses. Moreover, the virus replication kinetics showed EV-C96 Guangdong strain replicated at a high rate in RD cells and presented a different cell tropism to other strains isolated from Shandong recently. These findings gave further insight into the evolutionary processes and extensive biodiversity of EV-C96.
PMCID: PMC3907579  PMID: 24497989
15.  Prevalence of Multiple Enteroviruses Associated with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, China: Outbreaks of Coxsackieviruses A10 and B3 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84233.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) has been one of the most common infectious diseases in Shijiazhuang City, as is the situation in China overall. In the National HFMD surveillance system, the pathogen detection was focused on EV-A71 and CVA16, and therefore, information on the other EVs is very limited. In order to identify the circulating EV serotypes in the HFMD outbreaks in Shijiazhuang City during 2010–2012, 4045 patients presented with HFMD were recruited in the study, and clinical samples were investigated. Typing of EV serotypes was performed using the molecular typing methods, and phylogenetic analyses based on entire VP1 sequences of human enterovirus 71 (EV-A71), coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16), CVA10 and CVB3 was performed. The results revealed that EV-A71 and CVA16 were the 2 most important pathogens but the circulating trends of the 2 viruses showed a shift, the spread of EV-A71 became increasingly weak, whereas the spread of CVA16 became increasingly stronger. CVA10 and CVB3 were the third and fourth most prevalent pathogens, respectively. Co-infection of two viruses at the same time was not found in these samples. Based on entire VP1 region sequences, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that C4a subgenotype EV-A71, B1a and B1b subgenotype CVA16 continued to evolve. The CVA10 strains were assigned to 4 genotypes (A–D), whereas the CVB3 strains were assigned to 5 genotypes (A–E), with clear geographical and temporal-specific distributions. The Shijiazhuang CVA10 sequences belonged to 4 epidemic lineages within genotype C, whereas the Shijiazhuang CVB3 sequences belonged to 2 epidemic lineages within genotype E, which may have the same origins as the strains reported in other part of China. CVA10 and CVB3, 2 pathogens that were previously infrequently detected, were identified as pathogens causing the HFMD outbreaks. This study underscores the need for detailed laboratory-based surveillances of HFMD in mainland China.
PMCID: PMC3879295  PMID: 24392117
16.  Seroprevalence of Antipolio Antibodies among Children <15 Years of Age in Border Provinces in China 
Despite remarkable progression toward polio eradication worldwide, wild poliovirus (WPV) importation has been a great challenge for China, as it shares borders with countries where WPV is endemic. The objective of this study was to estimate poliovirus antibody seroprevalence among children <15 years of age in 3 border provinces (Yunnan Province, Tibet Autonomous Region, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region) in China. A cross-sectional, hospital-based study was undertaken in 3 border provinces in 2010. Individuals <15 years old who visited hospitals at the prefecture level or above to have their blood drawn for any reason were invited to participate in our study. Neutralizing antibody titers to polio serotypes 1 (P1), P2, and P3 were assayed according to the World Health Organization manual for the virological investigation of polio. Antibody titers of ≥8 were considered positive. Among the 1,360 subjects enrolled, 1,220 (89.7%), 1,259 (92.6%), and 1,112 (81.8%) were seropositive to P1, P2, and P3, respectively, and 1,051 (77.3%) subjects were seropositive to all three serotypes. The highest seropositive rates were observed in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. By age, 3- to 5-year-old subjects had the highest rate of seropositivity, and seropositivity decreased significantly with increasing age. The risk of WPV importation will continue until WPV transmission has been interrupted worldwide. Consistent with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's polio endgame strategy, China must maintain its polio-free status by ensuring adequate population immunity against polio. Because immunity wanes with increasing age, a booster dose with bivalent type 1 and 2 oral poliovirus vaccine could be considered for teenagers in China.
PMCID: PMC3697440  PMID: 23677325
17.  Isolation and Characterization of a Type 2 Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus from Environmental Surveillance in China, 2012 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83975.
Environmental surveillance of poliovirus on sewage has been conducted in Shandong Province, China since 2008. A type 2 vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV) with 7 mutations in VP1 coding region was isolated from the sewage collected in the city of Jinan in December 2012. The complete genome sequencing analysis of this isolate revealed 25 nucleotide substitutions, 7 of which resulted in amino acid alteration. No evidence of recombination with other poliovirus serotypes was observed. The virus did not lose temperature sensitive phenotype at 40°C. An estimation based on the evolution rate of the P1 coding region suggested that evolution time of this strain might be 160–176 days. VP1 sequence analysis revealed that this VDPV strain is of no close relationship with other local type 2 polioviruses (n = 66) from sewage collected between May 2012 and June 2013, suggesting the lack of its circulation in the local population. The person who excreted the virus was not known and no closely related virus was isolated in local population via acute flaccid paralysis surveillance. By far this is the first report of VDPV isolated from sewage in China, and these results underscore the value of environmental surveillance in the polio surveillance system even in countries with high rates of OPV coverage.
PMCID: PMC3873410  PMID: 24386319
18.  Molecular Epidemiology of Coxsackievirus A16: Intratype and Prevalent Intertype Recombination Identified 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82861.
Coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) is responsible for nearly 50% of all the confirmed hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) cases in mainland China, sometimes it could also cause severe complications, and even death. To clarify the genetic characteristics and the epidemic patterns of CVA16 in mainland China, comprehensive bioinfomatics analyses were performed by using 35 CVA16 whole genome sequences from 1998 to 2011, 593 complete CVA16 VP1 sequences from 1981 to 2011, and prototype strains of human enterovirus species A (EV-A). Analysis on complete VP1 sequences revealed that subgenotypes B1a and B1b were prevalent strains and have been co-circulating in many Asian countries since 2000, especially in mainland China for at least 13 years. While the prevalence of subgenotype B1c (totally 20 strains) was much limited, only found in Malaysia from 2005 to 2007 and in France in 2010. Genotype B2 only caused epidemic in Japan and Malaysia from 1981 to 2000. Both subgenotypes B1a and B1b were potential recombinant viruses containing sequences from other EV-A donors in the 5’-untranslated region and P2, P3 non-structural protein encoding regions.
PMCID: PMC3858299  PMID: 24340064
19.  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
20.  A Two-Tube Multiplex Reverse Transcription PCR Assay for Simultaneous Detection of Sixteen Human Respiratory Virus Types/Subtypes 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:327620.
There is a need for the development of a rapid and sensitive diagnosis of respiratory viral pathogens. With an intended application in provincial Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, in this study, we present a two-tube multiplex RT-PCR assay (two-tube assay) using automatic electrophoresis to simultaneously detect sixteen common respiratory viruses. The specificity and the sensitivity of the assay were tested. The assay could detect 20–200 copies per reaction when each viral type was assayed individually, 2000 copies with 9 premixed viral targets in the multiplexed assay in tube 1, and 200 copies with 8 premixed templates in tube 2. A total of 247 specimens were used to evaluate the two-tube assay, and the results were compared with those obtained from the Luminex xTAG RVP Fast assay. The discordant results were confirmed by sequencing or by the Seeplex RV15 ACE detection kit. There were no false positives, but six false negatives occurred with the two-tube assay. In conclusion, the two-tube assay is demonstrated to have great potential for routine surveillance of respiratory virus infection in China.
PMCID: PMC3747601  PMID: 23984344
21.  Correction: Viral Etiology of Acute Respiratory Infection in Gansu Province, China, 2011 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):10.1371/annotation/91d141f8-549c-475c-891a-5d8b4e5f91fd.
PMCID: PMC3728372
22.  Enterovirus 71 VPg Uridylation Uses a Two-Molecular Mechanism of 3D Polymerase 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(24):13662-13671.
VPg uridylylation is essential for picornavirus RNA replication. The VPg uridylylation reaction consists of the binding of VPg to 3D polymerase (3Dpol) and the transfer of UMP by 3Dpol to the hydroxyl group of the third amino acid Tyr of VPg. Previous studies suggested that different picornaviruses employ distinct mechanisms during VPg binding and uridylylation. Here, we report a novel site (Site-311, located at the base of the palm domain of EV71 3Dpol) that is essential for EV71 VPg uridylylation as well as viral replication. Ala substitution of amino acids (T313, F314, and I317) at Site-311 reduced the VPg uridylylation activity of 3Dpol by >90%. None of the Site-311 mutations affected the RNA elongation activity of 3Dpol, which indicates that Site-311 does not directly participate in RNA polymerization. However, mutations that abrogated VPg uridylylation significantly reduced the VPg binding ability of 3Dpol, which suggests that Site-311 is a potential VPg binding site on enterovirus 71 (EV71) 3Dpol. Mutation of a polymerase active site in 3Dpol and Site-311 in 3Dpol remarkably enables trans complementation to restore VPg uridylylation. In contrast, two distinct Site-311 mutants do not cause trans complementation in vitro. These results indicate that Site-311 is a VPg binding site that stabilizes the VPg molecule during the VPg uridylylation process and suggest a two-molecule model for 3Dpol during EV71 VPg uridylylation, such that one 3Dpol presents the hydroxyl group of Tyr3 of VPg to the polymerase active site of another 3Dpol, which in turn catalyzes VPg→VPg-pU conversion. For genome-length RNA, the Site-311 mutations that reduced VPg uridylylation were lethal for EV71 replication, which indicates that Site-311 is a potential antiviral target.
PMCID: PMC3503026  PMID: 23055549
23.  Viral Etiology of Acute Respiratory Infection in Gansu Province, China, 2011 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64254.
Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are the leading cause of children and their leading killer. ARIs are responsible for at least six percent of the world's disability and death. Viruses are one of the most common agents causing ARIs. Few studies on the viral etiology and clinical characteristics of ARIs have been performed in the northwest region of China, including Gansu Province.
Clinical and demographic information and throat swabs were collected from 279 patients from January 1st to December 30st, 2011. Multiplex RT-PCR was performed to detect 16 respiratory viral pathogens.
279 patients were admitted for ARIs. The patients aged from 1 month to 12 years, with the median age of 2 years. Of which, 105 (37.6%) were positive for at least one pathogen. A total of 136 respiratory viral pathogens were identified from the 105 patients. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) was the most frequently detected pathogen (26.5%, 36/136), followed by parainfluenza virus (PIV) 1–3 (22.1%, 30/136), human rhinovirus (HRV) (21.3%, 29/136), human coronavirus (CoV) (10.3%, 14/136) and human adenovirus (HAdV) (9.6%, 13/136). Influenza A (Flu A), human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and human bocavirus (BoCA) were found 4.4%, 3.7% and 2.2%, respectively. Influenza B (Flu B) and seasonal influenza A H1N1(sH1N1) were not detected. Single-infections were detected in 30.5% (85/279) of cases. RSV was the most common pathogens in patients under 1 year and showed seasonal variation with peaks during winter and spring.
This paper presents data on the epidemiology of viral pathogens associated with ARIs among children in Gansu Province, China. RSV is most frequently detected in our study. The findings could serve as a reference for local CDC in drawing up further plans to prevent and control ARIs.
PMCID: PMC3653869  PMID: 23691184
24.  Genetic Variation in the HN and SH Genes of Mumps Viruses: A Comparison of Strains from Mumps Cases with and without Neurological Symptoms 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61791.
It is known that mumps virus (MuV) strains may vary in their neurovirulent capacity, and certain MuV strains may be highly neurotropic. In animal models and epidemiological studies, mutations at specific amino acids (aa) have been proposed to be associated with neurovirulence. To assess whether these genetic variations can be observed in clinical samples from patients and if they correlate with neurovirulence as determined by clinical symptoms, 39 mumps patients with or without neurological symptoms were investigated.
Principal Findings
Respiratory samples, oral fluids, throat swabs, and neurological and cerebrospinal fluid samples were tested by RT-PCR and products sequenced. Sequences of the entire small hydrophobic (SH) gene and the partial hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) gene were compared.
The results showed there was no significant difference between the samples of the two groups of patients at the aa sites in either the HN protein or the SH protein, which have previously been hypothesized to be associated with neurovirulence or antigenicity. The occurrence of neurological symptoms of mumps does not appear to be due to a single point mutation in either the HN or SH gene.
PMCID: PMC3634820  PMID: 23637906
25.  The Development and Application of the Two Real-Time RT-PCR Assays to Detect the Pathogen of HFMD 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61451.
Large-scale Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD) outbreaks have frequently occurred in China since 2008, affecting more than one million children and causing several hundred children deaths every year. The pathogens of HFMD are mainly human enteroviruses (HEVs). Among them, human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) are the most common pathogens of HFMD. However, other HEVs could also cause HFMD. To rapidly detect HEV71 and CVA16, and ensure detection of all HEVs causing HFMD, two real-time hybridization probe-based RT-PCR assays were developed in this study. One is a multiplex real-time RT-PCR assay, which was developed to detect and differentiate HEV71 specifically from CVA16 directly from clinical specimens within 1–2 h, and the other is a broad-spectrum real-time RT-PCR assay, which targeted almost all HEVs. The experiments confirmed that the two assays have high sensitivity and specificity, and the sensitivity was up to 0.1 TCID50/ml for detection of HEVs, HEV71, and CVA16, respectively. A total of 213 clinical specimens were simultaneously detected by three kinds of assays, including the two real-time RT-PCR assays, direct conventional RT-PCR assay, and virus isolation assay on human rhabdomyosarcoma cells (RD cells). The total positive rate of both HEV71 and CVA16 was 69.48% with real-time RT-PCR assay, 47.42% with RT-PCR assay, and 34.58% with virus isolation assay. One HFMD clinical specimen was positive for HEV, but negative for HEV71 or CVA16, which was identified as Echovirus 11 (Echo11) by virus isolation, RT-PCR, and sequencing for the VP1 gene. The two real-time RT-PCR assays had been applied in 31 provincial HFMD labs to detect the pathogens of HFMD, which has contributed to the rapid identification of the pathogens in the early stages of HFMD outbreaks, and helped to clarify the etiologic agents of HFMD in China.
PMCID: PMC3630163  PMID: 23637836

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