BA9 lineage of respiratory syncytial virus from across the globe and its evolutionary dynamics

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important pathogen of global significance. The BA9 is one of the most predominant lineages of the BA genotype of group B RSV that has acquired a 60bp duplication in its G protein gene. We describe the local and global evolutionary dynamics of the second hyper variable region in the C- terminal of the G protein gene of the BA9 lineage. A total of 418 sequences (including 31 study and 387 GenBank strains) from 29 different countries were used for phylogenetic analysis. This analysis showed that the study strains clustered with BA (BA9 and BA8) and SAB4 genotype of group B RSV. We performed time-scaled evolutionary clock analyses using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. We also carried out glycosylation, selection pressure, mutational, entropy and Network analyses of the BA9 lineage. The time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of the BA genotype and BA9 lineage were estimated to be the years 1995 (95% HPD; 1987–1997) and 2000 (95% HPD; 1998–2001), respectively. The nucleotide substitution rate of the BA genotype [(4.58×10−3 (95% HPD; 3.89–5.29×10−3) substitution/site/year] was slightly faster than the BA9 lineage [4.03×10−3 (95% HPD; 4.65–5.2492×10−3)]. The BA9 lineage was categorized into 3 sub lineages (I, II and III) based on the Bayesian and Network analyses. The local transmission pattern suggested that BA9 is the predominant lineage of BA viruses that has been circulating in India since 2002 though showing fluctuations in its effective population size. The BA9 lineage established its global distribution with report from 23 different countries over the past 16 years. The present study augments our understanding of RSV infection, its epidemiological dynamics warranting steps towards its overall global surveillance.