Next-generation whole genome sequencing identifies the direction of Norovirus transmission in linked patients

Kundu, S., Lockwood, J., Depledge, D., Chaudhry, Y., Aston, A., Rao, K., Hartley, J., Goodfellow, I. and Breuer, J. (2013) Next-generation whole genome sequencing identifies the direction of Norovirus transmission in linked patients. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 57 (3). pp. 407-414. ISSN 1058-4838.

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Background. Noroviruses are a highly transmissible and major cause of nosocomial gastroenteritis resulting in bed and hospital-ward closures. Where hospital outbreaks are suspected, it is important to determine the routes of spread so that appropriate infection-control procedures can be implemented. To investigate a cluster of norovirus cases occurring in children undergoing bone marrow transplant, we undertook norovirus genome sequencing by next-generation methods. Detailed comparison of sequence data from 2 linked cases enabled us to identify the likely direction of spread.

Methods. Norovirus complementary DNA was amplified by overlapping polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
from 13 stool samples from 5 diagnostic real-time PCR–positive patients. The amplicons were sequenced by Roche 454, the genomes assembled by de novo assembly, and the data analyzed phylogenetically.

Results. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that patients were infected by viruses similar to 4 distinct GII.4 suib types and 2 patients were linked by the same virus. Of the 14 sites at which there were differences between the consensus sequences of the 2 linked viral genomes, 9 had minor variants present within one or the other patient. Further analysis confirmed that minor variants at all 9 sites in patient B were present as the consensus sequence in patient A.

Conclusions. Phylogenetic analysis excluded a common source of infection in this apparent outbreak. Two of 3 patients on the same ward had closely related viruses, raising the possibility of cross-infection despite protective isolation. Analysis of deep sequencing data enabled us to establish the likely direction of nosocomial transmission.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH0301 Biology (General) > QH0426 Genetics
Q Science > QR Microbiology
Depositing User: Samit Kundu
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 15:27
Last Modified: 20 May 2015 15:34

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00