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Title: Detection and genetic characterization of norovirus strains circulating among infants and children with acute gastroenteritis in Japan during 2004-2005
Authors: Tung Gia Phan
Sayaka Takanashi
Kunio Kaneshi
Yuichi Ueda
Shigekazu Nakaya
Shuichi Nishimura
Kumiko Sugita
Tadashi Nishimura
Atsuko Yamamoto
Fumihiro Yagyu
Shoko Okitsu
Niwat Maneekarn
Hiroshi Ushijima
Keywords: Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2006
Abstract: A total of 752 fecal specimens collected during the period of July 2004 to June 2005 from infants and children with acute gastroenteritis from four different regions (Maizuru, Tokyo, Sapporo, and Osaka) of Japan were tested for the presence of norovirus by RT-PCR. It was found that 139 (18.5%) fecal specimens were positive for norovirus. Norovirus infection was detected almost all year round with the highest prevalence in January. Norovirus GII was the most predominant genogroup (98.6%; 137 of 139). The genotypes detected in this study were GI/1, GII/1, GII/3, GII/4, and GII/6. Of these, NoV GII/4 (known as the Lordsdale virus cluster) was re-emerging and became the leading genotype (77.7%). Meanwhile, the incidence of NoV GII/3 (known as the Arg320 virus cluster) has dropped rapidly, accounting for only 15.8%. Another interesting feature of the study was the identification of Picton03/ AU-like recombinant NoV for the first time in Japan. Based on the genetic analysis, it was interesting to note that NoV GII/4 in 2004-2005 made a distinct cluster in comparison to other NoV GII/4 circulating in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. Of note, "new recombinant variant designated GIIb" within NoV GII/3, which was first detected in Saga City, Japan in 2003-2004 in only one case, had increased, spreading widely in Japan and representing 45.5% (10 of 22). Further epidemiological studies should be conducted to determine whether this new recombinant variant strain will be dominant in Japan in the coming year.
ISSN: 14336510
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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