Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the main viral cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections in children. Little information about the molecular epidemiology of HRSV in developing countries, such as Argentina, is available. By RT-PCR, we subgrouped 353 HRSV isolates over six consecutive epidemic seasons (1999-2004) and few isolates from 1997. Between them, 232 (65.7%) belonged to subgroup A and 121 (34.3%) to subgroup B. Therefore, the nucleotide, amino-acid variability and phylogenetic relations of 78 HRSV subgroup A isolates, were analyzed using RFLP and sequence analysis of the G-protein gene. The results showed that there were two main restriction patterns (PA1 and PA2) and two previously described genotypes (GA2 and GA5) cocirculating in Buenos Aires, without evidence of alternation between them during the studied period. The Argentine sequences were compared with previously reported molecular data from other countries. It showed that viruses genetically related circulated the same years within neighboring countries and the sequences from long-distant places were closely related to Argentine sequences, but they belonged to different sampling years. The data reported here support the growing database on the molecular diversity of HRSVA circulating in Latin America in children under 2 years of age and contributes to describe the pattern of global spread of this virus.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.