Epidemiology and Infection


Characterization of a new genotype of measles virus detected in China and England

L. JIN a1c1, Y. J. SUN a2, L. GE a3 and D. W. G. BROWN a1
a1 Enteric and Respiratory virus Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HT, UK
a2 Anti-Epidemic Station of Liaoning Province, Shenyang, P.R. China 110005
a3 Dalian Anti-Epidemic Station, Dalian, P.R. China 116021


We report the co-circulation of a new lineage of measles virus (MV) and an Edmonston-like (Ed-like) genotype of MV in China during 1995–7. Sequence analysis of 25 strains was performed on a 282 nucleotides (nt) region of the nucleoprotein (N) gene, a 450-nt region of the haemagglutinin (H) gene and a 152-nt region of the matrix (M) gene by direct sequencing of RT-PCR amplicons obtained from clinical specimens. The entire H gene was sequenced from two strains. The results showed that 24/25 Chinese strains belonged to a new genogroup and were distinct from the vaccine strains used in China and the UK, and also from MV strains previously described in Europe, Africa and the USA. The remaining strain was Ed-like. Two strains of the new genotype (IV) and one of the Ed-like genotype were also detected in the UK in 1996.

(Accepted June 12 1998)

c1 Author for correspondence.