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Volume 17, Number 8–August 2011
Novel Human Reovirus Isolated from Children with Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy
Author affiliations: Fondation Mérieux, Lyon, France (L.A. Ouattara, G. Vernet, G. Paranhos-Baccalà, F. Komurian-Pradel); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Bretonneau (F. Barin, P. Roingeard, A. Goudeau); Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U966, Tours, France (F. Barin, P. Roingeard, A. Goudeau); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Clocheville, Tours (M.A. Barthez, P. Castelnau); and bioMérieux SA, Marcy l'Etoile, France (B. Bonnaud)
Suggested citation for this article
For many encephalitis cases, the cause remains unidentified. After 2 children (from the same family) received a diagnosis of acute necrotizing encephalopathy at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (Tours, France), we attempted to identify the etiologic agent. Because clinical samples from the 2 patients were negative for all pathogens tested, urine and throat swab specimens were added to epithelial cells, and virus isolates detected were characterized by molecular analysis and electron microscopy. We identified a novel reovirus strain (serotype 2), MRV2Tou05, which seems to be closely related to porcine and human strains. A specific antibody response directed against this new reovirus strain was observed in convalescent-phase serum specimens from the patients, whereas no response was observed in 38 serum specimens from 38 healthy adults. This novel reovirus is a new etiologic agent of encephalitis.
Mammalian reoviruses, members of the genus Orthoreovirus, are nonenveloped double-stranded RNA viruses with a genome composed of 10 segments. These viruses have 3 major serotypes: type 1 Lang (T1L), type 2 Jones (T2J), and type 3 Dearing (T3D), which can be differentiated by neutralization and hemagglutination inhibition tests (1). A fundamental characteristic of these viruses, because of their segmented genome, is that 2 distinct viruses can infect the same cell and combine their genomes, thus generating novel viruses (2). The acronym reovirus (respiratory enteric orphan virus) is used to designate viruses isolated from the respiratory and enteric tracts of persons with mild respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms (3). Although reovirus infection of humans usually induces mild symptoms, infection of newborn mice leads to severe pathologic conditions, such as lethal encephalitis, depending on the inoculation route and strain (4,5). Previous studies have described the isolation of 3 reovirus strains after cell culture of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with meningitis: serotype 1 (6), serotype 3 (T3C96) (7), and serotype 2 (T2W) (8,9). The etiologic role of the T2W strain in meningitis could not be ascertained because the patient was co-infected with other agents (8). Similarly, new mammalian reoviruses, such as BYD1, JP, and BYL, were isolated from throat swab specimens of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (10). Similarly, Melaka virus (11), Kampar virus (12), and HK23629/07 virus (13) were isolated from adults with acute respiratory infection. Here, we report the isolation of a novel human type 2 reovirus (named MRV2Tou05) from 2 children hospitalized with acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE). Virologic, molecular, and serologic methods were used to detect the MRV2Tou05 strain.
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Suggested Citation for this Article
Ouattara LA, Barin F, Barthez MA, Bonnaud B, Roingeard P, Goudeau A, et al. Novel human reovirus isolated from children with acute necrotizing encephalopathy, France. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 Aug [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/17/8/101528.htm
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Gláucia Paranhos-Baccalà, Fondation Mérieux, LPE, 21 Ave Tony Garnier, Lyon 69007, France; email: firstname.lastname@example.org