An epidemic of mumps in Lithuania started in December 1998 and continued until May 2000. The total registered number of cases was about 11.000 of a total of 3,7 million inhabitants in Lithuania (29,7 cases/10000). Virus- containing samples were collected from 80 patients treated at the hospital of Kaunas from October 1999 until the end of the epidemic. Out of the 80 patients with parotitis, meningitis was observed in 11 patients and orchitis in 22 of 69 male patients. Twenty-seven virus strains were genotyped by nucleotide sequencing of the small hydrophobic (SH) protein gene, and the 57 amino acid sequences of the gene were deduced. Twenty-five virus strains belonged to the C genotype and two were of the D genotype. By phylogenetic analysis the virus strains causing meningitis grouped in a separate cluster, designated C1, within the C genotype. Another group of ten of the 25 genotype C strains exhibited an amino acid triplet at amino acid positions 28 to 30 of the protein, consisting of valine, alanine and serine, instead of the previously recognised valine, valine and serine combination of genotype C. The amino acid alanine at position 29 was found in combination with the amino acid serine at position 48. This variant was designated C2 and it was associated with parotitis. The amino acid alanine at position 29 and serine in position 48 of the C2 genotype may constitute a marker of low neurovirulence compared to other genotype C strains.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2002
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