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Infect Genet Evol. 2006 Nov;6(6):453-8. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Molecular epidemiology of human picobirnaviruses among children of a slum community in Kolkata, India.

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Division of Virology, National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, P33 CIT Road, Scheme XM, Beliaghata, Kolkata 700010, India.


Picobirnaviruses are a group of unclassified, non-enveloped, small spherical viruses, 35-41 nm in diameter without any apparent surface morphology. They have characteristic bisegmented double stranded RNA genome of two types namely large profile (2.3-2.6 kbp for the larger and 1.5-1.9 kbp for the smaller segment, respectively) or small profile (1.75 and 1.55 kbp for segments 1 and 2, respectively). Human picobirnaviruses (n=12 positives; 2/56 diarrhoeic children and 10/607 non-diarrhoeic children) with large (n=11) or small (n=1) genome pattern were observed in faecal specimens of children from a slum community by silver stained PAGE gels. Faecal specimen from four asymptomatic cases (P597_02_IND, K135_02_IND, A373_03_IND, A356_03_IND) and one diarrhoeic case (K135_03_IND) had genogroup I picobirnaviruses (1-CHN-97 like) showing amplicons within the 201 bp region, with primers PicoB25-PicoB43, targeting the conserved domain of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene. It was interesting to note that only the PBV strain P597_02_IND from Kolkata with large genome was closely related to a reported strain (similarity with 2-GA-91 from USA was 87% at the nucleotide level and 90% at the amino acid level). Sequence analysis showed three conserved amino acid domains as well as a highly conserved D-S-D motif, characteristic of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene of bisegmented, double stranded RNA viruses. Sequence data of the picobirnavirus A356_03_IND indicated strong heterogeneity with all other picobirnavirus strains sequenced till date. After nearly a decade a genogroup II picobirnavirus strain (R227_03_IND) was isolated from a diarrhoea case in the community, with small genome profile and amplified with specific primers PicoB23-PicoB24; but the sequence data showed that it was divergent from the hitherto reported prototype strain 4-GA-91 of genogroup II human picobirnaviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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