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Open AccessArticle

Evolution of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) over Multiple Seasons in New South Wales, Australia

Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW 2052, Australia
Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, NSW Health Pathology, Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia
Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2018, 10(9), 476;
Received: 17 August 2018 / Revised: 1 September 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
There is an ongoing global pandemic of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection that results in substantial annual morbidity and mortality. In Australia, RSV is a major cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRI). Nevertheless, little is known about the extent and origins of the genetic diversity of RSV in Australia, nor the factors that shape this diversity. We have conducted a genome-scale analysis of RSV infections in New South Wales (NSW). RSV genomes were successfully sequenced for 144 specimens collected between 2010–2016. Of these, 64 belonged to the RSVA and 80 to the RSVB subtype. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a wide diversity of RSV lineages within NSW and that both subtypes evolved rapidly in a strongly clock-like manner, with mean rates of approximately 6–8 × 10−4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year. There was only weak evidence for geographic clustering of sequences, indicative of fluid patterns of transmission within the infected population and no evidence of any clustering by patient age such that viruses in the same lineages circulate through the entire host population. Importantly, we show that both subtypes circulated concurrently in NSW with multiple introductions into the Australian population in each year and only limited evidence for multi-year persistence. View Full-Text
Keywords: respiratory syncytial virus; phylogenetics; evolution; multi-year persistence respiratory syncytial virus; phylogenetics; evolution; multi-year persistence
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Di Giallonardo, F.; Kok, J.; Fernandez, M.; Carter, I.; Geoghegan, J.L.; Dwyer, D.E.; Holmes, E.C.; Eden, J.-S. Evolution of Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) over Multiple Seasons in New South Wales, Australia. Viruses 2018, 10, 476.

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