We report the isolation and detailed characterization of the novel strain, Partizansk/2006, of Powassan virus (POWV) from a human case of infection, which occurred in Primorsky krai, Russia, in 2006. Comparative complete genome sequence analysis of the Far Eastern strains Spassk-9 (1975), Nadezdinsk-1991 and Partizansk/2006 of POWV revealed that these strains are 99.8% similar to the LB strain, which was isolated in Canada in 1958. Phylogenetic analysis of 5′ UTR sequences of five other strains of POWV isolated from 1972 to 1986 in Primorsky krai produced similar results. Presumably, Far Eastern POWV has common putative ancestor with LB strain POWV from North America, and the time of divergence of these POWVs is relatively short. We conclude that POWV has become endemic in Far Eastern Russia.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2009
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