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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters

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Molecular and Cellular Microbiology (MCM)  |  Host-Microbe Interaction and Pathogenesis

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2022; 50(1): 126-134

https://doi.org/10.48022/mbl.2109.09001

Received: September 3, 2021; Revised: January 12, 2022; Accepted: February 3, 2022

Prevalence of GII.4 Sydney 2012 and Recombinant GII.3P[12] Noroviruses Associated with Acute Gastroenteritis in Hospitalized Children in Thailand, 2015-2017

Areerat Manowong1, Chulapong Chanta2, and Wisoot Chan-it1*

1Biology Program, Faculty of Science and Technology, Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand 2Pediatric Unit, Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital, Chiang Rai 57000, Thailand

Correspondence to :
Wisoot Chan-It,      wchanit@psru.ac.th

Norovirus (NoV) is an important pathogen causing acute gastroenteritis worldwide. The purpose of the present study was the molecular characterization of NoV. A total of 408 stool specimens collected from hospitalized children associated with acute gastroenteritis in Chiang Rai, Thailand, 2015-2017 were investigated for the presence of NoVs by RT-PCR. NoV GII was detected in 32 samples (7.8%). Five distinct genotypes were identified, including GII.4 (13/32, 40.6%), GII.3 (11/32, 34.3%), GII.17 (4/32, 12.5%), GII.2 (2/32, 6.3%), and GII.14 (2/32, 6.3%). NoV infection occurred mostly in young children under 3 years of age (31/32, 96.9%) and showed the main peak in summer months from March to April (18/32, 56.3%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all 13 GII.4 strains clustered with GII.4 Sydney 2012 variant. Representative GII.3 strains were analyzed as a recombinant GII.3P[12] strain. Several amino acid differences were found in the antigenic epitopes and antibody binding sites of the VP1 capsid of the GII.3P[12]. Homology modeling of the P domain of the GII.3P[12] strain demonstrated that 10/13 amino acid differences were predicted to be located on the surface-exposed area of the capsid structure. These amino acid changes might affect the infectivity and the antigenicity of the recombinant GII.3P[12]. The prevalence of GII.4 Sydney 2012 and recombinant GII.3P[12] strains indicates the genetic diversity of circulating NoVs in Thailand, emphazing the importance of continuous surveillance to mornitor newly emerging NoV strains in the future.

Keywords: Norovirus, acute gastroenteritis, epidemiology, GII.4 Sydney 2012 variant, recombinant GII.3P[12] norovirus, homology modeling

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