Measles virus genotypes circulating in India 2011 to 2015.

Wednesday, 12th of October 2016 Print

J Med Virol. 2016 Oct 3. doi: 10.1002/jmv.24702. [Epub ahead of print]

Measles virus genotypes circulating in India 2011 to 2015.

Vaidya SR1 Chowdhury DT2.

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The Government of India is accepted to participate in the measles elimination and rubella control goal 2020 hence genetic characterization of measles viruses (MeV) becomes essential. At National Reference Laboratory (National Institute of Virology Pune) the throat swabs/ urine specimens (n = 380) or PCR products (n = 219) obtained from the suspected measles cases were referred for the molecular testing and subsequently MeV nucleoprotein (N) gene sequencing/ genotyping. In addition 2449 suspected measles cases mainly from the Maharashtra state were referred for the laboratory diagnosis. A detailed study was performed on N gene sequences obtained during last two decades. Indian MeV sequences obtained during 2011-15 were compared with 1996-2010 sequences and genetic divergence was studied. Circulation of measles genotypes B3 (n = 3) D4 (n = 49) and D8 (n = 351) strains were observed in 19 States and three Union Territories of India. In addition 64 measles viruses were isolated from 253 throat swab or urine specimens obtained from the suspected measles cases. During 2011-2015 67.9% (1663/2449) suspected measles cases were laboratory confirmed. Molecular studies showed circulation of measles genotype B3 in India along with prominently circulating genotypes D4 and D8 except D7 strains. The genetic diversion within Indian B3 D4 and D8 genotypes was 0.3% 1.1% and 2.1% respectively. The genetic divergence of Indian B3 D4 and D8 measles strains with the WHO reference sequences was 2.5% 2.6% and 1.8% respectively. It is crucial data for national immunization program. More measles/ rubella genotyping studies are necessary to track transmission and to support measles elimination and rubella control.

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