Variable regions of the African swine fever virus genome, which contain arrays of tandem repeats, were compared in the genomes of isolates obtained over a 40-year period. Comparison of the size of products generated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from four different genome regions, within the B602L and KP86R genes and intergenic regions J286L and BtSj, placed 43 closely related isolated from Europe, the Caribbean, West and Central Africa into 17 different virus sub-groups. Sequence analysis of the most variable fragment, within the B602L gene, from 81 different isolates distinguished 31 sub-groups of virus isolates which varied in sequence and number of a tandem repeat encoding 4 amino acids. Thus, each of these analysis methods enabled isolates, which were previously grouped together by sequencing of a more conserved genome region, to be separated into multiple sub-groups. This provided additional information about strains of viruses circulating in different countries. The methods could be used in future to study the epidemiology and evolution of virus isolates and to trace the sources of disease outbreaks.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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