[Source: PLoS ONE, full text: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Research Article

Norovirus Diversity in Diarrheic Children from an African-Descendant Settlement in Belém, Northern Brazil

Glicélia Cruz Aragão, Joana D'Arc Pereira Mascarenhas, Jane Haruko Lima Kaiano, Maria Silvia Sousa de Lucena, Jones Anderson Monteiro Siqueira, Túlio Machado Fumian, Juliana das Mercês Hernandez, Consuelo Silva de Oliveira, Darleise de Souza Oliveira, Eliete da Cunha Araújo, Luana da Silva Soares, Alexandre Costa Linhares, Yvone Benchimol Gabbay

Affiliation: [Full list on source page.]


Norovirus (NoV), sapovirus (SaV) and human astrovirus (HAstV) are viral pathogens that are associated with outbreaks and sporadic cases of gastroenteritis. However, little is known about the occurrence of these pathogens in relatively isolated communities, such as the remnants of African-descendant villages (“Quilombola”). The objective of this study was the frequency determination of these viruses in children under 10 years, with and without gastroenteritis, from a “Quilombola” Community, Northern Brazil. A total of 159 stool samples were obtained from April/2008 to July/2010 and tested by an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect NoV, SaV and HAstV, and further molecular characterization was performed. These viruses were detected only in the diarrheic group. NoV was the most frequent viral agent detected (19.7%-16/81), followed by SaV (2.5%-2/81) and HAstV (1.2%-1/81). Of the 16 NoV-positive samples, 14 were sequenced with primers targeting the B region of the polymerase (ORF1) and the D region of the capsid (ORF2). The results showed a broad genetic diversity of NoV, with 12 strains being classified as GII-4 (5–41.7%), GII-6 (3–25%), GII-7 (2–16.7%), GII-17 (1–8.3%) and GI-2 (1–8.3%), as based on the polymerase region; 12 samples were classified, based on the capsid region, as GII-4 (6–50%, being 3–2006b variant and 3–2010 variant), GII-6 (3–25%), GII-17 (2–16.7%) and GII-20 (1–8.3%). One NoV-strain showed dual genotype specificity, based on the polymerase and capsid region (GII-7/GII-20). This study provides, for the first time, epidemiological and molecular information on the circulation of NoV, SaV and HAstV in African-descendant communities in Northern Brazil and identifies NoV genotypes that were different from those detected previously in studies conducted in the urban area of Belém. It remains to be determined why a broader NoV diversity was observed in such a semi-isolated community.

Citation: Aragão GC, Mascarenhas JDP, Kaiano JHL, de Lucena MSS, Siqueira JAM, et al. (2013) Norovirus Diversity in Diarrheic Children from an African-Descendant Settlement in Belém, Northern Brazil. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56608. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056608

Editor: Shamala Devi Sekaran, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Received: July 11, 2012; Accepted: January 15, 2013; Published: February 15, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Aragão et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This research was financially supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Pará (FAPESPA), and Instituto Evandro Chagas, Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde, Ministério da Saúde and also received a grant from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.