Comparative sequence analyses of a new mammalian reovirus genome and the mammalian reovirus S1 genes from six new serotype 2 human isolates

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We previously described isolation of a potentially new mammalian reovirus, designated BYD1, which can cause clinical symptoms similar to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in guinea pigs and macaques, from throat swabs of one SARS patient of Beijing, in 2003. For this study, we determined the genome sequences of BYD1 and the S1 gene sequences of other five mammalian reovirus isolates (BLD, JP, and BYL were isolated from different SARS patients during the outbreak, 302I and 302II were isolated from fecal specimens of two children of Beijing in 1982) to allow molecular comparison with other previously reported mammalian reoviruses (MRVs). Comparative analyses of the BYD1 genome with those of three prototype mammalian reovirus strains demonstrated that BYD1 is a novel reassortant virus, with its S1 gene segment coming from a previously unidentified serotype 2 isolate and other nine segments coming from ancestors of homologous T1L and T3D segments, which supports the hypothesis that mammalian reovirus gene segments reassort in nature. Further analyses of the S1 segments of the six isolates showed that all the isolates are novel serotype 2 MRVs based on their S1 gene sequences, which are markedly different from those of all previously reported, and the S1 genes of the four new isolates share more than 99% identity with each other, proving that they diverged from a common ancestor most recently, and the S1 genes of the four new isolates share about 65% identity with those of the two strains isolated in 1982.

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