Molecular Epidemiology of Measles in India, 2005–2010

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Niteen Wairagkar, Deepika Chowdhury, Sunil Vaidya, Sarika Sikchi, Naseem Shaikh, Laxman Hungund, R. S. Tomar, D. Biswas, K. Yadav, J. Mahanta, V. N. R. Das, Prasanna Yergolkar, P. Gunasekaran, D. Raja, R. Jadi, Nalini Ramamurty, A. C. Mishra, and MeaslesNetIndia collaborators
Date published
Jan, 2011
Last updated
25 Jan 2020


Measles is a childhood disease that causes great morbidity and mortality in India and worldwide. Because measles surveillance in India is in its infancy, there is a paucity of countrywide data on circulating measles virusgenotypes. This study was conducted in 21 of 28 states and 2 of 7 union territories of India byMeaslesNetIndia, a national network of 27 centers and sentinel practitioners. MeaslesNetIndia investigated 52 measles outbreaks in geographically representative areas from 2005 through June 2010. All outbreaks were serologically confirmed by detection of antimeasles virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies in serum or oralfluid samples. Molecular studies, using World Health Organization (WHO)–recommended protocols obtained 203 N-gene, 40 H-gene, and 4 M-gene sequences during this period. Measles genotypes D4, D7, and D8 were found to be circulating in various parts of India during the study period. Further phylogenetic analysis revealed 4 lineages of Indian D8 genotypes: D8a, D8b, D8c, and D8d.

This study generated a large, countrywide sequence database that can form the baseline for future molecular studies on measles virus transmission pathways in India. This study has created support and capabilities for countrywide measles molecular surveillance that must be carried forward.