Three viral gastroenteritis (VGE) outbreaks that occurred in 1998-1999, in Hungary were investigated for the presence of human caliciviruses (HuCVs). HuCVs in stool specimens were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using primer pair 289/290, which was designed based on the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) sequence. RT-PCR results were confirmed by sequencing showing that all three outbreak strains belonged to genogroup II of "Norwalk-like viruses" (NLVs). Two strains had high sequence identity with strains in known genetic clusters (Hawaii and Lordsdale clusters). The third strain (MOH) had distinct RdRp sequence, sharing 77/86% (nt/aa) identity with Snow Mountain virus (SMV), the closest genogroup II virus. To characterize MOH further, we cloned, sequenced, and expressed in baculovirus its capsid gene. It had 75/79% (nt/aa) identity with SMV, but 97/98% (nt/aa) identity with NLV/Hillingdon/90/UK, a recently identified genetic cluster of HuCVs. The recombinant MOH (rMOH) capsid protein self-assembled into virus-like particles (VLPs), which is antigenically distinct from other recombinant HuCV capsid antigens available in our laboratory. Further study of this VLP will have important applications in antigenic characterization and diagnosis of HuCVs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases