Isolation of Coronavirus NL63 from Blood from Children in Rural Haiti: Phylogenetic Similarities with Recent Isolates from Malaysia

Valery Madsen Beau De Rochars Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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John Lednicky Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Sarah White Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Julia Loeb Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Maha A. Elbadry Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Taina Telisma Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Christianville Foundation, School Clinic, Gressier, Haiti.

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Sonese Chavannes Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Christianville Foundation, School Clinic, Gressier, Haiti.

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Marie Gina Anilis Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Christianville Foundation, School Clinic, Gressier, Haiti.

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Eleonora Cella Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.

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Massimo Ciccozzi Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.

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Bernard A. Okech Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Marco Salemi Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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J. Glenn Morris Jr. Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

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Human coronavirus (HCoV) NL63 is recognized as a common cause of upper respiratory infections and influenza-like illness. In screening children with acute undifferentiated febrile illness in a school cohort in rural Haiti, we identified HCoV-NL63 in blood samples from four children. Cases clustered over an 11-day period; children did not have respiratory symptoms, but two had gastrointestinal complaints. On phylogenetic analysis, the Haitian HCoV-NL63 strains cluster together in a highly supported monophyletic clade linked most closely with recently reported strains from Malaysia; two respiratory HCoV-NL63 strains identified in north Florida in the same general period form a separate clade, albeit again with close linkages with the Malaysian strains. Our data highlight the variety of presentations that may be seen with HCoV-NL63, and underscore the apparent ease with which CoV strains move among countries, with our data consistent with recurrent introduction of strains into the Caribbean (Haiti and Florida) from Asia.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to J. Glenn Morris Jr., Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, 2055 Mowry Road, P.O. Box 100009, Gainesville, FL 32610-0009. E-mail: jgmorris@epi.ufl.edu

Authors' addresses: Valery M. Beau de Rochars, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: madsenbeau@phhp.ufl.edu. John Lednicky, Sarah White, Julia Loeb, Maha A. Elbadry, and Bernard A. Okech, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL and Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mails: jlednicky@phhp.ufl.edu, sek0005@ufl.edu, jloeb@phhp.ufl.edu, elbadrym@ufl.edu, and bokech@ufl.edu. Taina Telisma, Sonese Chavannes, and Marie Gina Anilis, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida and Christianville Foundation, School Clinic, Gressier, Haiti, E-mails: tainaquisqueya@gmail.com, chavannessonse@yahoo.fr, and mariegina_anilis@yahoo.fr. Eleonora Cella, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, and Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Instituto Superiore de Sanita, Rome, Italy, E-mail: eleonora.cella@yahoo.it. Massinno Ciccozzi, Department of Infectious Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases, Reference Centre on Phylogeny, Molecular Epidemiology and Microbial Evolution (FEMEM)/Epidemiology Unit, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Lazio, Italy, E-mail: ciccozzi@iss.it. Marco Salemi, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: salemi@pathology.ufl.edu. J. Glenn Morris Jr., Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, E-mail: jgmorris@epi.ufl.edu.

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