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J Med Microbiol. 2012 Mar;61(Pt 3):410-9. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.035006-0. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Molecular epidemiological study of human rhinovirus species A, B and C from patients with acute respiratory illnesses in Japan.

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Tochigi Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi 329-1196, Japan.


Recent studies suggest that human rhinovirus species A, B and C (HRV-ABCs) may be associated with both the common cold and severe acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) such as bronchiolitis, wheezy bronchiolitis and pneumonia. However, the state and molecular epidemiology of these viruses in Japan is not fully understood. This study detected the genomes of HRV-ABCs from Japanese patients (92 cases, 0-36 years old, mean±sd 3.5±5.0 years) with various ARIs including upper respiratory infection, bronchiolitis, wheezy bronchiolitis, croup and pneumonia between January and December 2010. HRV-ABCs were provisionally type assigned from the pairwise distances among the strains. On phylogenetic trees based on the nucleotide sequences of the VP4/VP2 coding region, HRV-A, -B and -C were provisionally assigned to 14, 2 and 12 types, respectively. The present HRV-A and -C strains had a wide genetic diversity (>30 % divergence). The interspecies distances were 0.230±0.063 (mean±sd, HRV-A), 0.218±0.048 (HRV-B) and 0.281±0.105 (HRV-C), based on nucleotide sequences, and 0.075±0.036 (HRV-A), 0.049±0.022 (HRV-B) and 0.141±0.064 (HRV-C) at the deduced amino acid level. Furthermore, HRV-A and -C were the predominant species and were detected throughout the seasons. The results suggested that HRV-A and -C strains have a wide genetic divergence and are associated with various ARIs in Japan.

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