Epidemic and molecular evolution of human bocavirus in hospitalized children with acute respiratory tract infection

Q-B Lu, Y Wo, H-Y Wang, D-D Huang, J Zhao, X-A Zhang, Y-Y Zhang, E-M Liu, W Liu, W-C Cao
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 2015, 34 (1): 75-81
Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a novel parvovirus, often associated with respiratory tract diseases in children. This study explored the epidemiological characteristics and molecular evolution of HBoV-1 in southeastern China. Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected from children admitted to hospital with acute respiratory tract infections. HBoV-1 was detected using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and further characterized by complete genome sequences analysis. Among the 3,022 recruited children, 386 (12.77%) were HBoV-1-positive and 300 (77.72%) had co-detection with other respiratory viruses. Seasonal prevalence peaked in summer. HBoV-1 presence was significantly associated with asthma attack [odds ratio = 1.74; 95 % confidence interval: 1.30, 2.31; p < 0.001]. Similar results were obtained when either single detection or co-detection of HBoV-1 was considered, demonstrating the minor impact of co-detection on the clinical characteristics or epidemic pattern. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete genome sequences showed that all the HBoV-1 sequences clustered together and no branch was formed that was supported by bootstrap value ≥ 750. The overall evolutionary rate of the complete genome of HBoV-1 was estimated at 1.08 × 10(-4) nucleotide substitutions per site per year (s/s/y) [95% highest probability density: (0.40-1.86) × 10(-4) s/s/y]. Selective pressure analysis showed that all the ω-values were less than 1, suggesting that HBoV-1 was under negative selective pressure. Site-by-site analysis identified the codon site 40 of the VP1 gene under positive selection. In conclusion, our study disclosed the epidemiological and genetic dynamics of HBoV-1 epidemics in southeastern China in the most recent 3 years, the information of which might help to further improve our understanding of HBoV-1 infection and guide better surveillance and control strategies in the future.

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