The genetic variability of 32 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) subgroup B isolates from a single community in Japan during the 20 years from 1980 to 1999 was determined. Two variable regions of the attachment (G) protein gene were amplified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction amplification and their products were sequenced directly. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences revealed seven distinct branches in which strains isolated during seasons of close proximity were located: however, isolates from the same season were often in plural branches. There was a tendency for recent isolates to lie at the end of each branch and these linear evolutionary changes were typically represented in a branch containing nine strains isolated during 6 seasons from ’80 to ’86. Three kinds of usages of stop codons were confirmed and isolates located in each branch used the same stop codons. These observations suggest that there are multiple subgroup B lineages co-circulating and that each lineage strain may exhibit linear evolutionary genetic drifts in order to survive over successive epidemics within the same population, although it has a conserved uniform G protein length with the use of the same stop codon.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2001
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