Journal article Open Access

Genetic classification of "Sapporo-like viruses"

Schuffenecker, I.; Ando, T.; Thouvenot, D.; Lina, B.; Aymard, M.

Summary. "Sapporo-like viruses" (SLVs) and "Norwalk-like viruses" (NLVs) are an important cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans. While NLVs have been genetically classified into three major genetic groups consisting of 17 genetic subgroups, a classification of SLVs into comparable genetic groups remains to be determined. In an attempt to classify both SLVs and NLVs uniformly, the sequences of 2 SLV strains newly detected from French infants were analysed together with the published sequences of 9 SLV and 19 NLV strains. Distance and phylogenetic analyses were conducted on the sequences of the capsid gene, RNA polymerase gene, 3' open reading frame (3'ORF), ORF overlapping the capsid gene, and 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). The histogram showing frequency distribution of pairwise distances and the topology of the phylogenetic tree demonstrated that SLVs and NLVs could be classified uniformly on the basis of the entire capsid sequences and that the 11 SLV strains could be genetically classified into 3 major genetic groups, genogroups I, II and III, comprised of 5 genetic subgroups. The differentiation of the 11 SLV strains into these genetic groups was also maintained in the 4 remaining genome regions, while the sequences at the junction between the RNA polymerase and capsid genes were shown to be genogroup-specific.

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