Molecular and phylogenetic analysis of Greek measles 2010 strains

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Although elimination of measles virus (MV) by 2010 was a revised target, a new epidemic has been ongoing in Greece and other European countries. The purpose of this study was the molecular and phylogenetic analysis of the Greek MV circulating strain. Twenty-four MV strains isolated from clinical samples during the 2010 outbreak were genotyped and studied in terms of nucleotide variation and phylogeny. All of the detected viruses were of the D4 genotype, which is circulating in Greece in the Roma population of Bulgarian nationality, the Greek Roma population and the Greek non-minority population, as well as in other EU countries. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these viruses belonged to subgroup 4 of D4 MV strains. It is essential to continue epidemiological surveillance of measles in Greece to monitor the transmission pattern of the virus and the effectiveness of measles immunization, which eventually will lead to its elimination.

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