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Virus Res. 2006 Jun;118(1-2):39-45. Epub 2005 Dec 7.

Molecular epidemiology of Bluetongue virus in northern Colorado.

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  • 1USDA, ARS, Arthropod-borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 3965, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.


The molecular epidemiology of Bluetongue virus serotype 11 (BTV11) in an enzootic focus in northern Colorado was investigated. Viruses isolated up to 12 years apart, from both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts, were compared by phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequence data from three genome segments: L2, S7, and S10. For each segment, viruses isolated from ruminants in the 1980s were more similar to one another than to viruses isolated from Culicoides spp. insects in the 1990s. Nearly identical BTV11-L2 segments were found in all isolates, but over time they were associated with different S7 and S10 genome segments. Therefore, L2-segment-based serologic identification of BTV isolates underestimates the origin and natural evolution of the viruses. In addition, the use of one or even two genome segments is inadequate to define the molecular epidemiology of the viruses in an enzootic focus. This information could influence import/export regulations based on BTV epidemiology in enzootic areas, as well as our view of the natural biology of the viruses.

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