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Identification of different lineages of measles virus strains circulating in Uttar Pradesh, North India

Akhalesh Kumar Shakya, Vibha Shukla, Harjeet Singh Maan and Tapan N Dhole*

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Raebareli Road, Lucknow, 226 014, India

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:237  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-237

Published: 16 October 2012



Genetic analysis of measles viruses associated with recent cases and outbreaks has proven to bridge information gaps in routine outbreak investigations and has made a substantial contribution to measles control efforts by helping to identify the transmission pathways of the virus.

Materials and methods

The present study describes the genetic characterization of wild type measles viruses from Uttar Pradesh, India isolated between January 2008 and January 2011. In the study, 526 suspected measles cases from 15 outbreaks were investigated. Blood samples were collected from suspected measles outbreaks and tested for the presence of measles specific IgM; throat swab and urine samples were collected for virus isolation and RT-PCR. Genotyping of circulating measles viruses in Uttar Pradesh was performed by sequencing a 450-bp region encompassing the nucleoprotein hypervariable region and phylogenetic analysis.

Results and conclusion

Based on serological results, all the outbreaks were confirmed as measles. Thirty eight strains were obtained. Genetic analysis of circulating measles strains (nā€‰=ā€‰38) in Uttar Pradesh from 235 cases of laboratory-confirmed cases from 526 suspected measles cases between 2008 and 2011 showed that all viruses responsible for outbreaks were within clade D and all were genotype D8.

Analysis of this region showed that it is highly divergent (up to 3.4% divergence in the nucleotide sequence and 4.1% divergence in the amino acid sequence between most distant strains). Considerable genetic heterogeneity was observed in the MV genotype D8 viruses in North India and underscores the need for continued surveillance and in particular increases in vaccination levels to decrease morbidity and mortality attributable to measles.

India; Epidemiology; Outbreak; Measles virus; Genotype D8