This study focused on finding, culturing, and identifying the biological and genetic characteristics of three louping ill virus (LIV) strains in the south of the Russian Far East. The Primorye-155-77 and Primorye-20-79 virus strains were isolated from Ixodes persulcatus ticks, and the Primorye-185-91 strain was isolated from the blood of a person after a tick bite. According to the hemagglutination and neutralization tests, Primorye-155-77, Primorye-20-79 and Primorye-185-91 had weak reactivity with antibodies in an antiserum against tick-borne encephalitis virus. In Primorye-155-77 and Primorye-20-79, the sequences of the 5′ ends of the 2456-nucleotide-long viral RNA including the 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and genes of the capsid protein, prM protein and envelope E protein were determined. The complete genome sequence of Primorye-185-91 was determined. The E protein gene of the Negishi strain differed from those of three analyzed strains, as there were mutations resulting in the replacement of three amino acids: Ala163Thr, Asp193Asn and Ala313Thr. The homology of Primorye-185-91 to LIV 369/T2 was 97.57 %, and to the Penrith strain, it was 98.36 %. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Primorye-155-77, Primorye-20-79 and Primorye-185-91 are related to LI/A and LI/K strains isolated in England and Scotland and to the Negishi strain; these strains have a common progenitor. Negishi-like strains were represented by one subtype of louping ill virus, i.e. the British subtype (LIV-Brit). The possibility is discussed of a single introduction of the virus to the Far Eastern region (Japan and Primorsky Krai) from a single natural locus more than 50 years ago.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2015
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