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
Monika Jevšnik Virant
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&ndash;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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