Evidence of Molecular Evolution Driven by Recombination Events Influencing Tropism in a Novel Human Adenovirus that Causes Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis
Walsh, Michael P.
Hudson, Nolan R.
Jones, Morris S.
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CitationWalsh, Michael P., Ashish Chintakuntlawar, Christopher M. Robinson, Ijad Madisch, Balázs Harrach, Nolan R. Hudson, David Schnurr, et al. 2009. Evidence of Molecular Evolution Driven by Recombination Events Influencing Tropism in a Novel Human Adenovirus that Causes Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis. PLoS ONE 4(6): e5635.
AbstractIn 2005, a human adenovirus strain (formerly known as HAdV-D22/H8 but renamed here HAdV-D53) was isolated from an outbreak of epidemic keratoconjunctititis (EKC), a disease that is usually caused by HAdV-D8, -D19, or -D37, not HAdV-D22. To date, a complete change of tropism compared to the prototype has never been observed, although apparent recombinant strains of other viruses from species Human adenovirus D (HAdV-D) have been described. The complete genome of HAdV-D53 was sequenced to elucidate recombination events that lead to the emergence of a viable and highly virulent virus with a modified tropism. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses of this genome demonstrate that this adenovirus is a recombinant of HAdV-D8 (including the fiber gene encoding the primary cellular receptor binding site), HAdV-D22, (the ε determinant of the hexon gene), HAdV-D37 (including the penton base gene encoding the secondary cellular receptor binding site), and at least one unknown or unsequenced HAdV-D strain. Bootscanning analysis of the complete genomic sequence of this novel adenovirus, which we have re-named HAdV-D53, indicated at least five recombination events between the aforementioned adenoviruses. Intrahexon recombination sites perfectly framed the ε neutralization determinant that was almost identical to the HAdV-D22 prototype. Additional bootscan analysis of all HAdV-D hexon genes revealed recombinations in identical locations in several other adenoviruses. In addition, HAdV-D53 but not HAdV-D22 induced corneal inflammation in a mouse model. Serological analysis confirmed previous results and demonstrated that HAdV-D53 has a neutralization profile representative of the ε determinant of its hexon (HAdV-D22) and the fiber (HAdV-D8) proteins. Our recombinant hexon sequence is almost identical to the hexon sequences of the HAdV-D strain causing EKC outbreaks in Japan, suggesting that HAdV-D53 is pandemic as an emerging EKC agent. This documents the first genomic, bioinformatic, and biological descriptions of the molecular evolution events engendering an emerging pathogenic adenovirus.
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