Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) causes lethal encephalitis in humans, posing a growing public-health problem in many European and Asian countries. TBEV is currently endemic in northeastern China, but the complete genome sequences of Chinese TBEV strains have not been reported. During a TBE outbreak in 2010 in Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, China, two TBEV strains were isolated from serum samples of two patients, and the complete sequences were determined and compared with other known TBEV strains. Both Mudanjiang isolates consisted of 10,774 nucleotides and encoded a single open reading frame coding for a polyprotein of 3414 amino acids, and a unique deletion of 364 nucleotides in the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) was recorded. Phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequence of the E protein and the nucleotide sequence of the 3’UTR revealed that the Mudanjiang isolates are closely related to the Senzhang and Sofjin-HO strains and belong to the Far Eastern subtype of TBEV. These findings provide insight into the evolutionary relationships among Chinese TBEV isolates and are useful for laboratory diagnosis and vaccine development for TBEV.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2011
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