Despite being preventable through vaccination, measles is still one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality in young children in Africa. In 2015, several African countries, including the Central African Republic (CAR), began implementing national measles elimination programs. However, measles remains a public health problem in Africa, particularly in the CAR. A retrospective study was conducted at the Institut Pasteur de Bangui, using blood samples (n = 255) and oral swabs (n = 7) collected between January 2012 and December 2016 from measles IgM-positive cases, to attempt genotyping of circulating measles virus strains. Overall, 50 samples were positive by real-time polymerase chain reaction, and 40 sequences of acceptable quality were obtained. The phylogenetic analysis showed that 38 strains belonged to genotype B3 suggesting that this genotype was endemic in the CAR during the study period. No genotype B2 sequences were detected, suggesting that this genotype is no longer present in the CAR.
- Central African Republic