Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes repeat infections throughout life. Antigenic variability in the RSV G protein may play a significant role in reinfections. A variable region of the RSV G gene was analyzed for 14 viruses from seven children who experienced initial and repeat infections. Eleven group A strains were in clades GA2 and GA5 and the three group B viruses were in the newly identified BA clade. In five children reinfections were caused by a heterologous group or genotype of RSV. Two children experienced infection and reinfection by viruses of the same clade, these virus pairs differed by only two to three amino acids in the region compared. This is the first report of RSV nucleotide sequence analysis from India and one of the few molecular characterizations of paired RSV from reinfections. Determining the molecular basis of reinfections may have important implications for RSV vaccine development.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.