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Molecular characterisation of measles virus is a powerful tool for tracing transmission. Genotyping may prove the absence of endemic circulation of measles virus, i.e. transmission for more than 12 months, which is one of the criteria for verifying elimination of the disease. We have genetically characterised measles viruses detected in Romania from 2008 to 2012, focusing on the recent outbreaks from 2010 to 2012 that affected mainly groups with limited access to healthcare and schools. The findings emphasise the importance of genotyping during the different phases of an outbreak. A total of 8,170 cases were notified, and 5,093 (62%) of the 7,559 possible cases were serologically confirmed. RT-PCR was performed for 104 samples: from the 101 positive samples obtained from sporadic measles cases or clusters from different counties, 73 were genotyped. Sporadic measles cases associated with D4 and D5 viruses were observed from 2008 to 2009. Genotype D4-Manchester was predominant in 2011 and 2012. In addition, the related variant D4-Maramures and MVs/Limoges.FRA/17.10[D4] and a few D4-Hamburg strains were detected. The detection of several distinct MV-D4 genotypes suggests multiple virus importations to Romania. The outbreak associated with D4 genotype is the second largest outbreak in Romania in less than 10 years.


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