A simple and rapid single-step reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to investigate the nucleoprotein (N) gene of 11 rabies viruses. A conserved set of RT-PCR primers was designed to amplify the most variable region in the N gene. N gene regions were amplified from 6 fixed laboratory viruses, 4 street viruses from dogs in Thailand, and a horse in Zambia. Sequences of the amplified products, together with the database of 91 additional sequences, were analyzed by using PILEUP program of the GCG package. The rabies viruses grouped into at least 9 distinct clusters by <90% nucleotide similarity of the N gene region: I (4 isolates, USA), II (2 isolates, South America), III (3 isolates, Africa), IV (52 strains, Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America), V (16 isolates, North America and Arctic), VI (17 isolates, Africa), VII (1 isolate, Africa), VIII (6 isolates, Thailand and Malaysia) and IX (1 isolate, Sri Lanka). A unique group of rabies viruses from Thailand and clusters of isolates corresponding to their geographic origin also were determined. The simple and rapid single-step RT-PCR proved to be useful for identifying rabies viruses, and for grouping the viruses into clades by sequence analysis.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1997
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