Global surveillance for norovirus identified in 2012 the emergence of a novel pandemic GII.4 variant, termed Sydney 2012. In Italy, the novel pandemic variant was identified as early as November 2011 but became predominant only in the winter season 2012-2013. Upon sequencing and comparison with strains of global origin, the early Sydney 2012 strains were found to differ from those spreading in 2012-2013 in the capsid (ORF2) putative epitopes B, C and D, segregating into a distinct phylogenetic clade. At least three residues (333, 340 and 393, in epitopes B, C and D, respectively) of the VP1 varied among Sydney 2012 strains of different clades. These findings suggest that the spread of the pandemic variant in Italy during the winter season 2012-2013 was due to the introduction of strains distinct from those circulating at low frequency in the former winter season and that similar strains were also circulating elsewhere worldwide.
Analysis of early strains of the norovirus pandemic variant GII.4 Sydney 2012 / Giammanco GM; De Grazia S; Terio V; Lanave G; Catella C; Bonura F; Saporito L; Medici MC; Tummolo F; Calderaro A; Bányai K; Hansmann G; Martella V.. - In: VIROLOGY. - ISSN 1096-0341. - 450–451(2014), pp. 355-358.
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