INTRODUCTION: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral pathogen for lower respiratory tract infection among young children. However, pathogenic mechanisms and molecular characteristics of RSV are still not completely understood, so the development of an effective vaccine has been hindered. F protein has been shown to be a potential RSV subunit vaccine candidate, so the study on genetic characteristics of F protein may be important for further investigation.
OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to determine the genetic characteristics of the F protein.
METHODS: Seventy-six strains of human RSV were isolated from 2001 to 2004 in Beijing, China, of which 6 representative strains were chosen.
RESULTS: Among the 6 Beijing isolates, 4 belonged to subgroup A. The F gene of the isolates shared 97.0% to 97.4% nucleotide sequence identity and 92.1% to 93.0% amino acid sequence identity. They were highly homologous with GenBank Nos. AY198175, AY198176, and AY198177 (China Hebei). The other 2 isolates belonged to subgroup B, and 97.3% and 98.2% sequence identity was seen at nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. The nucleotide sequences of subgroup B showed the highest identities with GenBank Nos. NC001781 and AF013254. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences revealed that those 4 within group A were monophyletic and closely related to each other, but those 2 within group B were distributed in 2 distinct clusters. AA200-225 and AA259-278 on the F gene are conservative between subgroups A and B.
CONCLUSIONS: Subgroup A and B strains cocirculated, which indicates that there were different transmission chains in Beijing from 2001 to 2004. AA200-225 and AA259-278 are potential segments to develop an effective vaccine in Beijing or even in China.
Submitted by Qi Lu
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics