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Infect Genet Evol. 2007 Mar;7(2):229-38. Epub 2006 Oct 16.

Detection of Genogroup I and II human picobirnaviruses showing small genomic RNA profile causing acute watery diarrhoea among children in Kolkata, India.

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Division of Molecular Virology, Diarrhoeal Disease Research and Control Center, National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, P33 CIT Road, Scheme XM, Beliaghata, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700010, West Bengal, India.


Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) with bisegmented small RNA genome profile (1.75 and 1.55kbp for segment 1 and 2, respectively) were detected from 1999 to 2003 in faecal specimens of acute watery diarrhoea cases, largely children (n=20) and an adult in Kolkata, India. Varying degrees of dehydration necessitated their visit to hospital for further treatment and management of acute watery diarrhoea. PBV was associated with rotavirus (n=3) or astrovirus (n=3) and with both in one case. No co-infection with norovirus, sapovirus or adenovirus was detected in the picobirnavirus positive cases. No co-infection with parasites (Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Entamoeba spp., helminths) or bacteria (Vibrio spp., Shigella spp., Escherichia coli) was detected among the picobirnavirus positive cases. There was a single instance of co-infection with Salmonella spp. (n=1). PBVs not associated with serious diarrhoea illness and showing large genome profile (2.3-2.6 and 1.5-1.9kbp for segment 1 and 2, respectively) have earlier been reported in adult individuals and recently among children from a slum community in Kolkata, India. The short genome profile PBVs associated with acute watery diarrhoea may be another emerging diarrhoeagenic virus in Kolkata, India. Molecular characterization using reported primers PicoB25-PicoB43 for Genogroup I and PicoB23-PicoB24 for Genogroup II in RT-PCR showed the presence of Genogroup I PBVs (n=6) and Genogroup II PBVs (n=5), while some could not be amplified (n=3) with these primers. Sequence analysis of Genogroup I amplicons indicated remarkable sequence heterogeneity. After more than a decade, four PBV positives of Genogroup II were detected during this study. Phylogenetic analysis showed varying degree of genetic diversity amongst PBV strains from Kolkata and other countries.

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