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J Gen Virol. 2013 Jun;94(Pt 6):1161-7. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.049908-0. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

A mutation 'hot spot' in the Schmallenberg virus M segment.

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  • 1Institute of Diagnostic Virology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, D-17493 Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany.


In the autumn of 2011, Schmallenberg virus (SBV), a novel orthobunyavirus of the Simbu serogroup, was identified by metagenomic analysis in Germany. SBV has since been detected in ruminants all over Europe, and investigations on phylogenetic relationships, clinical signs and epidemiology have been conducted. However, until now, only comparative sequence analysis of SBV genome segments with other species of the Simbu serogroup have been performed, and detailed data on the S and M segments, relevant for virus-host-cell interaction, have been missing. In this study, we investigated the S- and M-segment sequences obtained from 24 SBV-positive field samples from sheep, cattle and a goat collected from all over Germany. The results obtained indicated that the overall genome variability of SBV is neither regionally nor host species dependent. Nevertheless, we characterized for the first time a region of high sequence variability (a mutation 'hot spot') within the glycoprotein Gc encoded by the M segment.

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