Genetic information regarding the leader (L) and complete capsid-coding (P1) region of FMD serotype A and O viruses prevalent on the African continent is lacking. Here, we present the complete L-P1 sequences for eight serotype A and nine serotype O viruses recovered from FMDV outbreaks in East and West Africa over the last 33 years. Phylogenetic analysis of the P1 and capsid-coding regions revealed that the African isolates grouped according to serotype, and certain clusters were indicative of transboundary as well as intra-regional spread of the virus. However, similar analysis of the L region revealed random groupings of isolates from serotypes O and A. Comparisons between the phylogenetic trees derived from the structural coding regions and the L region pointed to a possibility of genetic recombination. The intertypic nucleotide and amino acid variation of all the isolates in this study supported results from previous studies where the externally located 1D was the most variable whilst the internally located 1A was the most conserved, which likely reflects the selective pressures on these proteins. Amino acids identified previously as important for FMDV structure and functioning were found to be highly conserved. The information gained from this study will contribute to the construction of structurally designed FMDV vaccines in Africa.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2014
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