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The frequency of cytomegalovirus non-ELR UL146 genotypes in neonates with congenital CMV disease is comparable to strains in the background population

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BACKGROUND: Congenital cytomegalovirus disease (cCMV) is common and can be fatal or cause severe sequelae. Circulating strains of cytomegalovirus carry a high number of variable or disrupted genes. One of these is UL146, a highly diverse gene with 14 distinct genotypes encoding a CXC-chemokine involved in viral dissemination. UL146 genotypes 5 and 6 lack the conserved ELR motif, potentially affecting strain virulence. Here, we investigate whether UL146 genotypes 5 and 6 were associated with congenital CMV infection.

METHODS: Viral DNA was extracted and UL146 sequenced from 116 neonatal dried blood spots (DBS) stored in the Danish National Biobank since 1982 and linked to registered cCMV cases through a personal identifier. These sequences were compared to UL146 control sequences obtained from CMV DNA extracted from 83 urine samples from children with suspected bacterial urinary tract infections.

RESULTS: Three non-ELR UL146 genotypes (5 and 6) were observed among the cases (2.6%) and two were observed among the controls (2.4%; P > 0.99). Additionally, no significant association with cCMV was found for the other 12 genotypes in a post-hoc analysis, although genotype 8 showed a tendency to be more frequent among cases with 12 observations against three (P = 0.10). All fourteen genotypes were found to have little intra-genotype variation. Viral load, gender, and sample age were not found to be associated with any particular UL146 genotype.

CONCLUSIONS: No particular UL146 genotype was associated with cCMV in this nationwide retrospective case-control study. Associations between CMV disease and disrupted or polymorph CMV genes among immunosuppressed people living with HIV/AIDS and transplant recipients should be investigated in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number386
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
ISSN1471-2334
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
This record is sourced from MEDLINE/PubMed, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

    Research areas

  • Amino Acid Motifs, Amino Acid Sequence, Base Sequence, Case-Control Studies, Chemokines, CXC/chemistry, Cytomegalovirus/genetics, Cytomegalovirus Infections/blood, DNA, Viral/blood, Denmark/epidemiology, Female, Genotype, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Newborn, Diseases/blood, Male, Polymorphism, Genetic, Retrospective Studies, Viral Load, Viral Proteins/chemistry, cCMV, ELR, DBS, Cytomegalovirus, vCXCL1, UL146, Genotyping

ID: 65427323