Circulation of intergenotype recombinant noroviruses GII.9/GII.6 from 2006 to 2011 in central Greece
AuthorRuether, I. G. A.; Tsakogiannis, D.; Kyriakopoulou, Z.; Dimitriou, T. G.; Papamichail, C.; Gartzonika, C.; Leveidiotou-Stefanou, S.; Markoulatos, P.
Noroviruses (NoVs) are members of the Caliciviridae family and are recognized as a worldwide cause of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Based on the genetic analysis of the RdRp and capsid regions, human NoVs are divided into three genogroups (Gs), GI, GII, and GIV, which further segregate into distinct lineages called genotypes. In this study, in an attempt to discern the circulation of an intergenotypic recombinant GII.9/GII.6, which was previously reported by our group in central Greece, we investigated NoVs in raw sewages from 2006 to 2011 and compared the results with the viruses detected from clinical samples in the same area and in the same time period. Two specific primer pairs for NoVs were designed which amplified in a single PCR fragment from polymerase to capsid gene covering the widespread recombination point in ORF1/ORF2 junction. Based on the genetic analysis, recombinant NoV strains GII.9/GII.6 were identified. Fourteen out of 15 environmental and eight out of ten clinical samples that were used in the present study were positive, with both primer pairs, confirming that the intergenotypic recombinant GII.9/GII.6 was circulating in the population of central Greece from 2006 to 2011. The crossover point was identified to be within the overlapping region of ORF1/ORF2 (GII.9/GII.6, respectively) and was determined by Simplot at nucleotide position 5,032 bp.