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item Mecham, James

Submitted to: American Society for Virology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2006
Publication Date: 7/16/2006
Citation: Mecham, J.O. 2006. Phylogeny of bluetongue virus isolates by sequence analysis of the vp5 coding gene. American Society for Virology Meeting. Paper No. P8-7

Interpretive Summary: Bluetongue viruses are transmitted by biting insects and infect both domestic and wild ruminants. These viruses have 10 double-stranded RNA genome segments that encode viral structural and non-structural proteins. Sequence analysis of the genome provides a measure of the genetic relatedness of virus isolates and helps us better understand viral evolution and change. This report compares sequences for the gene that encodes one of the structural proteins, VP5, for a number of isolates of bluetongue virus. The analysis revealed that the viruses were distinguishable by serotype as well as by the geographical origin of isolation. The ability to rapidly and precisely determine the type and probable origin of new virus isolates with molecular tools will enable us to better understand the epidemiology of disease caused by this group of viruses.

Technical Abstract: Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an arthropod-borne Orbivirus that infects domestic and wild ruminants. Worldwide, there are at least 24 serotypes and numerous strains within each serotype. Bluetongue virus has 10 double-stranded genome segments that encode the viral structural and non-structural proteins. Two structural proteins, VP2 and VP5, make up the outer capsid of BTV. Serotype appears to be determined primarily by major neutralizing epitopes on the VP2 protein; however, there is evidence of minor neutralizing epitopes on VP5. Sequence analysis of selected genome segments has been used to better understand the function of viral proteins as well as phylogenetic relationships and evolution of this large group of viruses. To better understand the role that VP5 might play in serotype determination, sequences of the genome segment that encode this protein from numerous isolates were compared. This analysis distinguished viruses by serotype as well as geographically within serotype. In addition, the probable origin of new virus isolates from a geographical locale can be predicted based on phylogenetic comparisons of this genome segment.