Measles virus genotype D4 strains with non-standard length M-F non-coding region circulated during the major outbreaks of 2011-2012 in Spain.

  • Clinical and Applied Virology
July 16, 2018 By:
  • Gil H
  • Fernandez-Garcia A
  • Mosquera MM
  • Hubschen JM
  • Castellanos AM
  • de Ory F
  • Masa-Calles J
  • Echevarria JE.

In recent decades, vaccination has substantially reduced the number of measles cases to levels close to the elimination stage. However, major measles outbreaks occurred in Europe during 2010-2012, after the introduction of the D4-Enfield lineage. We have performed a molecular characterization of 75 measles virus genotype D4 strains from patients infected in Spain between 2004 and 2012 by sequencing the N-450 region and the M-F non-coding region (M-F NCR) in order to identify genetic features of these viruses. The analysis of the N-450 region confirmed that all samples obtained since 2008 belonged to variants or sets of identical sequences of the D4-Enfield lineage, including a new one named MVs/Madrid.ESP/46.10/. Analysis of the M-F NCR showed insertions and deletions associated with previously described, uncommon non-standard genome length measles viruses. This genetic feature was identified in the D4-Enfield lineage viruses, but not in the other D4 viruses that were circulating in Spain before 2008, suggesting that these non-standard length M-F NCR sequences are characteristic of the D4-Enfield lineage. The results of the phylogenetic analysis of Spanish M-F NCRs suggest higher resolution in discriminating strains than did the N-450 analysis. In addition, the results of the analysis of the M-F NCR on the MVs/Madrid.ESP/46.10/ sub-lineage seem to support the potential utility of this region as a tool for epidemiological surveillance complementary to the N-450 region, as previously suggested. Further investigation on this question, as well as the surveillance of new potentially emerging strains with non-standard length M-F NCR are strongly recommended as part of future strategies for measles elimination.

2018 Jul. PLoS One.13(7):e0199975.
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