Genotyping of enteroviruses isolated in Kenya from pediatric patients using partial VP1 region_Abstract
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Abstract

Enteroviruses (EV) are responsible for a wide range of clinical diseases in humans. Though studied broadly in several regions of the world, the genetic diversity of human enteroviruses (HEV) circulating in the sub-Saharan Africa remains under-documented. In the current study, we molecularly typed 61 HEV strains isolated in Kenya between 2008 and 2011 targeting the 3'-end of the VP1 gene. Viral RNA was extracted from the archived isolates and part of the VP1 gene amplified by RT-PCR, followed by sequence analysis. Twenty-two different EV types were detected. Majority (72.0 %) of these belonged to Enterovirus B species followed by Enterovirus D (21.3 %) and Enterovirus A (6.5 %). The most frequently detected types were Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68), followed by Coxsackievirus B2 (CV-B2), CV-B1, CV-B4 and CV-B3. Phylogenetic analyses of these viruses revealed that Kenyan CV-B1 isolates were segregated among sequences of global CV-B1 strains. Conversely, the Kenyan CV-B2, CV-B3, CV-B4 and EV-D68 strains generally grouped together with those detected from other countries. Notably, the Kenyan EV-D68 strains largely clustered with sequences of global strains obtained between 2008 and 2010 than those circulating in recent years. Overall, our results indicate that HEV strains belonging to Enterovirus D and Enterovirus B species pre-dominantly circulated and played a significant role in pediatric respiratory infection in Kenya, during the study period. The Kenyan CV-B1 strains were genetically divergent from those circulating in other countries. Phylogenetic clustering of Kenyan EV-D68 strains with sequences of global strains circulating between 2008 and 2010 than those obtained in recent years suggests a high genomic variability associated with the surface protein encoding VP1 gene in these enteroviruses.

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