To investigate the degree of genetic variability of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) strains circulating in Croatia, 29 isolates from the six largest dairy farms were examined by PCR for a segment of the gp51 env gene, followed by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The nucleotide sequences were compared with other previously characterized BLV strains from different geographical areas, comprising all seven known BLV genotypes. The Croatian sequences showed six to eight nucleotide substitutions: six silent substitutions and two amino acid changes. Four of those substitutions were within epitopes. In comparison to the sequences of other BLV genotypes, our isolates showed the closest relationship to genotype 1 isolates PL-3252 (FJ808585) and AL-148 (FJ808573) from Argentina. The degree of variation between our sequences and those of genotype 1 was 0.2- 4.6 %. In phylogenetic trees based on 400-nt and 519-nt sequences, all of the Croatian sequences clustered separately from the other sequences, revealing a new genotype.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2012
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