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Epidemiology characteristics of human coronaviruses in patients with respiratory infection symptoms and phylogenetic analysis of HCoV-OC43 during 2010-2015 in Guangzhou



Epidemiology characteristics of human coronaviruses in patients with respiratory infection symptoms and phylogenetic analysis of HCoV-OC43 during 2010-2015 in Guangzhou



Plos One 13(1): E0191789



Human coronavirus (HCoV) is one of the most common causes of respiratory tract infection throughout the world. To investigate the epidemiological and genetic variation of HCoV in Guangzhou, south China, we collected totally 13048 throat and nasal swab specimens from adults and children with fever and acute upper respiratory infection symptoms in Gunazhou, south China between July 2010 and June 2015, and the epidemiological features of HCoV and its species were studied. Specimens were screened for HCoV by real-time RT-PCR, and 7 other common respiratory viruses were tested simultaneously by PCR or real-time PCR. HCoV was detected in 294 cases (2.25%) of the 13048 samples, with most of them inpatients (251 cases, 85.4% of HCoV positive cases) and young children not in nursery (53.06%, 156 out of 294 HCoV positive cases). Four HCoVs, as OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1 were detected prevalent during 2010-2015 in Guangzhou, and among the HCoV positive cases, 60.20% were OC43, 16.67% were 229E, 14.97% were NL63 and 7.82% were HKU1. The month distribution showed that totally HCoV was prevalent in winter, but differences existed in different species. The 5 year distribution of HCoV showed a peak-valley distribution trend, with the detection rate higher in 2011 and 2013 whereas lower in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The age distribution revealed that children (especially those <3 years old) and old people (>50 years) were both high risk groups to be infected by HCoV. Of the 294 HCoV positive patients, 34.69% (101 cases) were co-infected by other common respiratory viruses, and influenza virus was the most common co-infecting virus (30/101, 29.70%). Fifteen HCoV-OC43 positive samples of 2013-2014 were selected for S gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, and the results showed that the 15 strains could be divided into 2 clusters in the phylogenetic tree, 12 strains of which formed a separate cluster that was closer to genotype G found in Malaysia. It was revealed for the first time that genotype B and genotype G of HCoV-OC43 co-circulated and the newly defined genotype G was epidemic as a dominant genotype during 2013-2014 in Guanzhou, south China.

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Accession: 062175162

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PMID: 29377913


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