Virus Research, 2009, Vol.145(2), pp.347-349
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the causative agent of chicken pox (varicella) in children and reactivation of VZV in elderly or immunocompromised persons can cause shingles (zoster). A subclade differentiation of the most prevalent VZV genotypes E1 and E2 in Germany was not possible with the current genotyping methods in use, but is highly important to understand the VZV molecular evolution in more detail and especially to follow up the routes of infection. Therefore the objective of this study was to develop a simple PCR-based method for differentiation of E1 and E2 subclades. Viral DNA was isolated from vesicle fluid samples of six selected German zoster patients and used to amplify nine complete open reading frames (ORFs) of the VZV genome by different PCR assays. Phylogenetic analysis was performed by a Bayesian approach. Based on the analysis of a total of nine ORFs, a 7482 bp stretch consisting of ORFs 5, 37 and 62 contained informative sites for identification of novel subclades E1a, E2a and E2b for VZV genotypes E1 and E2. Specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were demonstrated for subclades E2a and E2b within the ORFs 5, 37 and 62, whereas a subclade E1a-specific SNP was found in ORF 56. The classification of E1 and E2 subclades may facilitate a more exact and in-depth monitoring of the molecular evolution of VZV in Germany in the future.
Varicella-Zoster Virus ; Genotype ; Subclade ; Germany ; Recombination ; Vzv ; Biology
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