The nucleotide sequences at the extreme 5′ and 3′ ends of swine hepatitis E virus (swine HEV) genome were determined, and genomic sequence of swine HEV is now complete. Sequence analysis revealed that the 3′ and 5′ non-coding regions (NCRs) of swine HEV are closely related to that of the US-1 and US-2 strains of human HEV. Like the two U.S. strains of human HEV, an extra G residue immediately proceeding the poly(A) tail was identified in swine HEV. The 5′ NCR of swine HEV also differed from many HEV strains: it lacks an A residue at its 5′ very end, and the extra 9 nucleotides in the US-2 strain. In the 3′ NCR, swine HEV shared 90–91% nucleotide sequence identities with the US-1 and US-2 strains but only about 58–65% identities with other HEV strains. This study further suggests that the US-1 and US-2 strains of human HEV may be of swine origin. The availability of the complete sequence of swine HEV should facilitate the construction of an infectious cDNA clone of swine HEV.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2001
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