Supplementary Material for: Molecular Epidemiology of Human Metapneumovirus in Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important cause of respiratory tract illness in children. Two HMPV subgroups, A and B, and four genotypes, A1, A2, B1 and B2, have been identified. Concurrent circulation of the different genotypes in yearly epidemics has been recorded globally, but not in Saudi Arabia. The current report was designed to study HMPV epidemiology in Saudi children and to analyze the genetic diversity and circulation patterns. Nasopharyngeal aspirates (n = 174) were collected from hospitalized children in Riyadh (2008-2009). The screening of samples using real-time RT-PCR identified 19 HMPV strains. The majority of the strains belonged to subgroup B, while all strains of subgroup A were members of genotype A2. In 2008, only subgroup B was recognized, whereas in 2009 both subgroups were identified to be cocirculating at similar rates. The full-length attachment (G) gene and a partial sequence of the fusion (F) gene of positive samples were sequenced. The G gene showed a high degree of genetic diversity and exhibited a variable number of positively selected sites in different lineages. In contrast, the F gene demonstrated an extensive genetic stability with a higher tendency toward purifying selection. This is the first report on HMPV genotype circulation in Saudi Arabia; however, the exact circulation kinetics requires further retrospective and prospective study.