Human adenovirus type 8 (HAdV-8) is a main aetiological agent of keratoconjunctivitis. It has been reported from both epidemic and sporadic cases. The aim of our study was to investigate the genetic characteristics and chronological pattern of HAdV-8 strains that have been circulating in Tunisia over a 14-year period. Fourteen HAdV-8 isolates from a keratoconjunctivitis outbreak that occurred in 2000 and from sporadic cases between 2001 and 2013 were studied. Nucleotide sequences from the hexon, fiber and penton base genes were determined, including hypervariable regions of the hexon (loops 1 and 2), the fiber (knob) and the penton base (HVR 1 and RGD loops). The sequences were compared to each other and to those of HAdV-8 strains. The Tunisian sequences were unique when compared to the previously published sequences. Also, despite a relatively low degree of genetic variation in the three genomic regions, phylogenetic analysis and alignment of amino acid sequences showed that the sequence from the year 2000 and two other sequences from the year 2013 were similar to each other and differed from the isolates that circulated in the intervening year by two main amino acid changes in the loop 1 hexon gene and the knob-fiber gene. Our results confirm the genetic variability of HAdV-8 and document the chronological changes of circulating genetic variants.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2016
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