Molecular characterization of human enteroviruses in the Central African Republic: uncovering wide diversity and identification of a new human enterovirus A71 genogroup.

Research paper by Maël M Bessaud, Sylvie S Pillet, Wafa W Ibrahim, Marie-Line ML Joffret, Bruno B Pozzetto, Francis F Delpeyroux, Ionela I Gouandjika-Vasilache

Indexed on: 18 Feb '12Published on: 18 Feb '12Published in: Journal of clinical microbiology


Human enteroviruses (HEV) are among the most common viruses infecting humans. Their circulation has been widely studied in most parts of the world but not in sub-Saharan Africa, where poliomyelitis remains prevalent. We report here the molecular characterization of 98 nonpoliovirus (non-PV) HEV strains isolated from 93 randomly selected cell culture-positive supernatants from stool samples collected from 1997 through 2006 from children with acute flaccid paralysis living in the Central African Republic (CAR). The isolates were typed by sequencing the VP1 coding region and sequenced further in the VP2 coding region, and phylogenetic studies were carried out. Among the 98 VP1 sequences, 3, 74, 18, and 3 were found to belong to the HEV-A, -B, -C, and -D species, respectively. Overall, 42 types were detected. In most cases, the VP2 type was correlated with that of the VP1 region. Some of the isolates belonged to lineages that also contain viruses isolated in distant countries, while others belonged to lineages containing viruses isolated only in Africa. In particular, one isolate (type EV-A71) did not fall into any of the genogroups already described, indicating the existence of a previously unknown genogroup for this type. These results illustrate the considerable diversity of HEV isolates from the stools of paralyzed children in the CAR. The presence of diverse HEV-C types makes recombination between poliovirus and other HEV-C species possible and could promote the emergence of recombinant vaccine-derived polioviruses similar to those that have been implicated in repeated poliomyelitis outbreaks in several developing countries.