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Molecular epidemiology of astrovirus in children with gastroenteritis in southwestern Nigeria

  • Arowolo, K. O.1, 2, 3
  • Ayolabi, C. I.1
  • Adeleye, I. A.1
  • Lapinski, B.2
  • Santos, J. S.2
  • Raboni, Sonia M.2
  • 1 University of Lagos,
  • 2 Universidade Federal do Paraná,
  • 3 Lagos State Polytechnic,
Published Article
Archives of Virology
Publication Date
Aug 08, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s00705-020-04741-0
PMID: 32770482
PMCID: PMC7414288
PubMed Central


Human astrovirus (HAstV) is recognized as one of the major causative agents of acute gastroenteritis in children worldwide. Data on the genetic diversity of HAstV in Nigeria are limited. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of classical HAstV in children under 5 years of age with acute gastroenteritis in Ogun State, Nigeria. Fecal samples (331) as well as socio-demographic and clinical data were collected across the three senatorial districts of the state from February 2015 to April 2017. One hundred seventy-five samples were randomly selected and analyzed for the presence of HAstV using RT-PCR. PCR amplicons from positive samples were sequenced, and phylogenetic analysis was done to determine genotypes and lineages. The overall prevalence rate was 19.4% (34), with the highest occurrence observed in 2015 (41.4%). Viral coinfections were detected in 13 cases (38.2%). HAstV infection occurred throughout the year and in all age groups, mainly in the age group of 0-12 months. There was significant association between prevalence rate and collection year; however, no association was observed with gender, age, symptoms or risk factors. HAstV-5 was the predominant genotype (76.5%) circulating throughout the study period, followed by HAstV-1 (23.5%), which circulated only in the first 2 years of the study. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all HAstV-5 strains detected belonged to the 5a lineage, while HAstV-1 strains were grouped into lineage 1b. This study, to the best of our knowledge, is the first comprehensive report on molecular characterization of classical HAstV among children with gastroenteritis in the country, and this will serve as baseline information for implementing appropriate infection control practices.

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