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author:("Xu, kenbo")
1.  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
2.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  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
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  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
15.  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
16.  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
17.  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
18.  Rubella epidemic caused by genotype 1E rubella viruses in Beijing, China, in 2007–2011 
Virology Journal  2013;10:122.
A series of different rubella vaccination strategies were implemented to control rubella and prevent congenital rubella virus infection in Beijing, China. The rubella vaccine was available in 1995 in Beijing, and was introduced into the Beijing immunization program (vaccine recipients at their own expense vaccination) in 2000, and was introduced into the National Expanded Program on Immunization (vaccine recipients free vaccination) in 2006. Rubella virological surveillance started in Beijing in 2007.
The reported rubella incidence rate has decreased dramatically due to the introduction of the vaccine in Beijing since 1995. However, rubella epidemics occurred regardless in 2001 and 2007. The incidence rate among the floating population has gradually increased since 2002, reaching 2 or more times that in the permanent resident population. The peak age of rubella cases gradually changed from <15 years of age to adults after 2005. Phylogenetic analysis was performed and a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the World Health Organization standard sequence window for rubella virus isolates. All Beijing rubella virus isolates belong to genotype 1E/cluster1 and were clustered interspersed with viruses from other provinces in China. The effective number of infections indicated by a Bayesian skyline plot remained constant from 2007 to 2011.
The proportion of rubella cases among the floating population has increased significantly in Beijing since 2002, and the disease burden gradually shifted to the older age group (15- to 39-year olds), which has become a major group with rubella infection since 2006. Genotype 1E rubella virus continuously caused a rubella epidemic in Beijing in 2007–2011 and was the predominant virus, and all Beijing genotype 1E viruses belong to cluster 1, which is also widely circulated throughout the country.
PMCID: PMC3660283  PMID: 23596982
Rubella epidemics; Rubella virus; Genotype 1E, Beijing
19.  Intercity Spread of Echovirus 6 in Shandong Province, China: Application of Environmental Surveillance in Tracing Circulating Enteroviruses 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2012;78(19):6946-6953.
Environmental surveillance is an effective approach in investigating circulating enteroviruses and had been conducted in the cities of Jinan and Linyi since February 2008 and April 2010, respectively. This study analyzed 46 sewage samples collected in the two cities in 2011 and found that echovirus 6 (E6) was the predominant serotype, with 134 isolates (65 in Jinan and 69 in Linyi) from 23 (50%) samples. This differs from the 2010 data that found 29 E6 isolates in Jinan and only 3 in Linyi. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP1 coding region showed that all environmental E6 samples from 2008 to 2011 (n = 167) segregated into two lineages and revealed an increase in VP1 gene diversity in 2011, suggesting that the increased number of E6 detections reflects a real epidemic in the two cities. Most Linyi isolates (n = 61, or 88%) in 2011 segregated into sublineage 1a, together with 18 Jinan isolates in 2011. Interestingly, the ancestral VP1 sequence of sublineage 1a inferred using the maximum-likelihood method had 100% identity with the sequence of one environmental isolate from Jinan in August 2010, suggesting an intercity spread from Jinan to Linyi. By Bayesian phylodynamic methods, the most recent common ancestor of Linyi isolates in sublineage 1a dated back to 24 December 2010, revealing that this sublineage was likely imported into Linyi from August to December in 2010. This study demonstrates that environmental surveillance is a sensitive method in tracing transmission pathways of circulating enteroviruses among different regions and reveals that E6-associated aseptic meningitis is an emerging concern in China.
PMCID: PMC3457494  PMID: 22843520
20.  Genome and Bioinformatic Analysis of a HAdV-B14p1 Virus Isolated from a Baby with Pneumonia in Beijing, China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60345.
The genome of HAdV-B14p1 strain BJ430, isolated from a six-month-old baby diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia at the Beijing Children’s Hospital in December 2010, was sequenced, analyzed, and compared with reference adenovirus genome sequences archived in GenBank. This genome is 34,762 bp in length, remarkably presenting 99.9% identity with the genome from HAdV14p1 strain 303600, which was isolated in the USA (2006). Even more remarkable, it is 99.7% identical with the HAdV-B14p (prototype “de Wit” strain) genome, isolated from The Netherlands in 1955. The patient and its parents presumably had no or limited contact with persons from the USA and Ireland, both of which reported outbreaks of the re-emergent virus HAdV-14p1 recently. These genome data, its analysis, and this report provide a reference for any additional HAdV-B14 outbreak in China and provide the basis for the development of adenovirus vaccines and molecular pathogen surveillance protocols in high-risk areas.
PMCID: PMC3612040  PMID: 23555956
21.  Complete Genome Sequence of Two Coxsackievirus A1 Strains That Were Cytotoxic to Human Rhabdomyosarcoma Cells 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(18):10228-10229.
Coxsackievirus A1 (CVA1) belongs to human enterovirus species C within the family Picornaviridae, order Picornavirales. Two Chinese CVA1 isolates, HT-THLH02F/XJ/CHN/2011 and KS-ZPH01F/XJ/CHN/2011, were isolated from stool specimens of two healthy children in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of China. They were found to elicit cytopathic effects in a human rhabdomyosarcoma cell line, and complete genome sequences of these two CVA1 isolates revealed that natural intertypic recombination events occurred between CVA1 and CVA22.
PMCID: PMC3446563  PMID: 22923792
22.  Complete Genome Analysis of the C4 Subgenotype Strains of Enterovirus 71: Predominant Recombination C4 Viruses Persistently Circulating in China for 14 Years 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56341.
Genetic recombination is a well-known phenomenon for enteroviruses. To investigate the genetic characterization and the potential recombination of enterovirus 71 (EV71) circulating in China, we determined the 16 complete genome sequences of EV71 isolated from Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) patients during the large scale outbreak and non-outbreak years since 1998 in China. The full length genome sequences of 16 Chinese EV71 in present study were aligned with 186 genome sequences of EV71 available from GenBank, including 104 China mainland and 82 international sequences, covering the time period of 1970–2011. The oldest strains of each subgenotype of EV71 and prototype strains of HEV-A were included to do the phylogenetic and Simplot analysis. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all Chinese strains were clustered into C4 subgenotype of EV71, except for HuB/CHN/2009 clustered into A and Xiamen/CHN/2009 clustered into B5 subgenotype. Most of C4 EV71 were clustered into 2 predominant evolutionary branches: C4b and C4a evolutionary brunches. Our comprehensive recombination analysis showed the evidence of genome recombination of subgenotype C4 (including C4a and C4b) sequences between structural genes from genotype C EV71 and non-structural genes from the prototype strains of CAV16, 14 and 4, but the evidence of intratypic recombination between C4 strains and B subgenotype was not enough strong. This intertypic recombination C4 viruses were first seen in 1998 and became the predominant endemic viruses circulating in China mainland for at least 14 years. A shift between C4a and C4b evolutionary brunches of C4 recombination viruses were observed, and C4a viruses have been associated with large scale nationwide HFMD outbreak with higher morbidity and mortality since 2007.
PMCID: PMC3575343  PMID: 23441179
23.  Complete Genome Sequence of Human Adenovirus Type 7 Associated with Fatal Infant Pneumonia 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(1):e00182-12.
The Chinese human adenovirus 7 (HAdV7) 0901HZ/ShX/CHN/2009 was isolated from the hydrothorax fluid of an infant with fatal pneumonia in Shaanxi, China, in 2009. Comparison of the entire genome with the genomes of the other 10 strains of HAdV7 from GenBank revealed homologies of 89.9 to 99.9%, with geographic polymorphism among HAdV-7 field strains circulating in mainland China.
PMCID: PMC3569294  PMID: 23409258
24.  Transmission of Human Enterovirus 85 Recombinants Containing New Unknown Serotype HEV-B Donor Sequences in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55480.
Human enterovirus 85 (HEV85), whose prototype strain (Strain BAN00-10353/BAN/2000) was isolated in Bangladesh in 2000, is a recently identified serotype within the human enterovirus B (HEV-B) species. At present, only one nucleotide sequence of HEV85 (the complete genome sequence of the prototype strain) is available in the GenBank database.
Principal Findings
In this study, we report the genetic characteristics of 33 HEV85 isolates that circulated in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China in 2011. Sequence analysis revealed that all these Chinese HEV85 isolates belong to 2 transmission chains, and intertypic recombination was found with the new unknown serotype HEV-B donor sequences. Two HEV85 isolates recovered from a patient presenting acute flaccid paralysis and one of his contacts were temperature-insensitive strains, and some nucleotide substitutions in the non-coding regions and in the 2C or 3D coding regions may have affected the temperature sensitivity of HEV85 strains.
The Chinese HEV85 recombinant described in this study trapped a new unknown serotype HEV-B donor sequence, indicating that new unknown HEV-B serotypes exist or circulate in Xinjiang of China. Our study also indicated that HEV85 is a prevalent and common enterovirus serotype in Xinjiang.
PMCID: PMC3561255  PMID: 23383202
25.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Novel Human Enterovirus 85 (HEV85) Recombinant with an Unknown New Serotype HEV-B Donor Sequence Isolated from a Child with Acute Flaccid Paralysis 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(1):e00015-12.
A Chinese human enterovirus 85 (HEV85) isolate, HTYT-ARL-AFP02F/XJ/CHN/2011, was isolated from a stool specimen of a child with acute flaccid paralysis in Xinjiang, China, in 2011. The complete genome sequence revealed that a natural intertypic recombination event had occurred between HEV85 and a previously undescribed serotype of HEV-B.
PMCID: PMC3556829  PMID: 23405286

Results 1-25 (57)