Molecular characterization of human respiratory syncytial virus in the Philippines, 2012-2013

Rungnapa Malasao, Michiko Okamoto, Natthawan Chaimongkol, Tadatsugu Imamura, Kentaro Tohma, Isolde Dapat, Clyde Dapat, Akira Suzuki, Mayuko Saito, Mariko Saito, Raita Tamaki, Gay Anne Granada Pedrera-Rico, Rapunzel Aniceto, Reynaldo Frederick Negosa Quicho, Edelwisa Segubre-Mercado, Socorro Lupisan, Hitoshi Oshitani

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52 Citations (Scopus)


Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is a major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children worldwide. We performed molecular analysis of HRSV among infants and children with clinical diagnosis of severe pneumonia in four study sites in the Philippines, including Biliran, Leyte, Palawan, and Metro Manila from June 2012 to July 2013. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected and screened for HRSV using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Positive samples were tested by conventional PCR and sequenced for the second hypervariable region (2nd HVR) of the G gene. Among a total of 1,505 samples, 423 samples were positive for HRSV (28.1%), of which 305 (72.1%) and 118 (27.9%) were identified as HRSV-A and HRSV-B, respectively. Two genotypes of HRSV-A, NA1 and ON1, were identified during the study period. The novel ON1 genotype with a 72-nucleotide duplication in 2nd HVR of the G gene increased rapidly and finally became the predominant genotype in 2013 with an evolutionary rate higher than the NA1 genotype. Moreover, in the ON1 genotype, we found positive selection at amino acid position 274 (p<0.05) and massive O- and N-glycosylation in the 2nd HVR of the G gene. Among HRSV-B, BA9 was the predominant genotype circulating in the Philippines. However, two sporadic cases of GB2 genotype were found, which might share a common ancestor with other Asian strains. These findings suggest that HRSV is an important cause of severe acute respiratory infection among children in the Philippines and revealed the emergence and subsequent predominance of the ON1 genotype and the sporadic detection of the GB2 genotype. Both genotypes were detected for the first time in the Philippines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0142192
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 5


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