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Prevalence and molecular epidemiology of human coronavirus HKU1 in patients with acute respiratory illness



Prevalence and molecular epidemiology of human coronavirus HKU1 in patients with acute respiratory illness



Journal of Medical Virology 85(2): 309-314



In 2005, human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1) was isolated and identified from a 71-year-old man with pneumonia in Hong Kong. To identify and classify genotypes of HCoV-HKU1 in Korea, a sensitive, specific, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed and analyzed the sequences of HCoV-HKU1 isolated in Korea. A total of 1,985 respiratory specimens taken from patients with acute respiratory illness were tested for HCoV-HKU1 from January 2007 to May 2008. The major clinical symptoms associated with HCoV-HKU1 infection were examined statistically and sequence variations of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), spike, and nucleocapsid genes were also analyzed. Fifty cases (2.5%) HCoV-HKU1 were identified by real-time PCR and viral loads ranged from 6.7 × 10(4) to 1.6 × 10(9)  copies/ml. The clinical symptoms of HCoV-HKU1 infection included rhinorrhea (72%), cough (64%), nasal congestion (56%), fever (32%), sputum (30%), sore throat (18%), chills (16%), postnasal discharge (14%), and tonsillar hypertrophy (10%). There was a seasonal distribution of HCoV-HKU1 infection, peaking in winter and spring. Both genotypes A and B were detected but no recombination between them was found. This is the first report on the identification and genotyping of HCoV-HKU1 as a causative agent of acute respiratory illness in Korea. The data suggest that at least two genotypes, A and B, of HCoV-HKU1 with scattered silent mutations were circulating in Korea from 2007 to 2008.

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Accession: 036655376

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PMID: 23161446

DOI: 10.1002/jmv.23465


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