Viruses, Vol. 15, Pages 1218: Changes in HRSV Epidemiology but Not Circulating Variants in Hospitalized Children due to the Emergence of SARS-CoV-2

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Viruses, Vol. 15, Pages 1218: Changes in HRSV Epidemiology but Not Circulating Variants in Hospitalized Children due to the Emergence of SARS-CoV-2

Viruses doi: 10.3390/v15061218

Authors:
Monika Jevšnik Virant
Manca Luštrek
Rok Kogoj
Miroslav Petrovec
Tina Uršič

This study assesses the circulation of human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) genotypes before, during, and toward the end of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in children and determines the influence of the pandemic on HRSV circulation patterns and evolution. Phylogenetic analysis of the hypervariable glycoprotein G gene was performed on 221/261 (84.7%) HRSV-positive samples and shows two separated clusters, one belonging to HRSV-A (129/221) and another to HRSV-B (92/221). All Slovenian HRSV-A strains contained the 72-nucleotide-long duplicated region in the attachment glycoprotein G gene and were classified as lineage GA2.3.5. All Slovenian HRSV-B strains similarly contained a 60-nucleotide-long duplicated region in the attachment glycoprotein G gene and were classified as lineage GB5.0.5a. During the 3-year period (2018–2021) covered by the study, no significant differences were observed within strains detected before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, during it, and after the implementation of nonpharmaceutical preventive measures. Slovenian HRSV-A strains seem to be more diverse than HRSV-B strains. Therefore, further whole-genome investigations would be required for better monitoring of the long-term impact of SARS-CoV-2 endemic circulation and the formation of new HRSV lineages and epidemiological patterns.

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