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Microb Genom. 2019 Sep 18. doi: 10.1099/mgen.0.000292. [Epub ahead of print]

Molecular characterization of respiratory syncytial viruses circulating in a paediatric cohort in Amman, Jordan.

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Division of International Epidemiology and Population Studies, Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.
Infectious Disease Group, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, USA.
Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.
Departments of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.


Respiratory syncytial viruses (RSVs) are an important cause of mortality worldwide and a major cause of respiratory tract infections in children, driving development of vaccine candidates. However, there are large gaps in our knowledge of the local evolutionary and transmission dynamics of RSVs, particularly in understudied regions such as the Middle East. To address this gap, we sequenced the complete genomes of 58 RSVA and 27 RSVB samples collected in a paediatric cohort in Amman, Jordan, between 2010 and 2013. RSVA and RSVB co-circulated during each winter epidemic of RSV in Amman, and each epidemic comprised multiple independent viral introductions of RSVA and RSVB. However, RSVA and RSVB alternated in dominance across years, potential evidence of immunological interactions. Children infected with RSVA tended to be older than RSVB-infected children [30 months versus 22.4 months, respectively (P value = 0.02)], and tended to developed bronchopneumonia less frequently than those with RSVB, although the difference was not statistically significant (P value = 0.06). Differences in spatial patterns were investigated, and RSVA lineages were often identified in multiple regions in Amman, whereas RSVB introductions did not spread beyond a single region of the city, although these findings were based on small sample sizes. Multiple RSVA genotypes were identified in Amman, including GA2 viruses as well as three viruses from the ON1 sub-genotype that emerged in 2009 and are now the dominant genotype circulating worldwide. As vaccine development advances, further sequencing of RSV is needed to understand viral ecology and transmission, particularly in under-studied locations.


Bayesian analysis; evolution; next-generation sequencing; paediatric cohort; phylogenetic analysis; respiratory syncytial virus

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