by Naiying Mao, Yixin Ji, Zhengde Xie, Huanhuan Wang, Huiling Wang, Junjing An, Xinxin Zhang, Yan Zhang, Zhen Zhu, Aili Cui, Songtao Xu, Kunling Shen, Chunyan Liu, Weizhong Yang, Wenbo Xu
The relevance of human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) to the epidemiology of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in China is unclear. From May 2008 to September 2010, 443 nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) from hospitalized pediatric patients (age from 1 to 93 months) in Beijing were collected and screened for HPIVs and other common respiratory viruses by real-time RT-PCR. Sixty-two of 443 samples were positive for HPIVs with 4 positive for HPIV-2 and 58 positive for HPIV-3, indicating that HPIV-3 was the predominant virus present during the study period. A phylogenetic tree based on all the available HN (hemagglutinin-neuraminidase) sequences of HPIV-3 indicated that three distinct clusters (A,B, and C) were circulating with some temporal and regional clustering. Cluster C was further divided into sub-clusters, C1, C2, C3 and C4. HPIV-3 from Beijing isolates belonged to sub-cluster C3, and were grouped with the isolates from two Provinces of China and the neighboring country of Japan. Genetic analysis based on entire HN gene revealed that the HPIV-3 isolates from Beijing were highly similar with 97.2%–100% identity at the nucleotide level and these could be divided into two closely related lineages, C3a and C3b. These findings suggested that there was co-circulation of multiple lineages of HPIV-3 in the Beijing region during the study period. This is the first study to describe the epidemiology and molecular characterization of HPIVs in China.