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Arch Virol Suppl. 2001;(17):17-25.

Investigation of varicella-zoster virus variation by heteroduplex mobility assay.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, St Bartholomews and the Royal London Hospitals Medical Schools, Queen Mary and Westfield College, UK.


Heteroduplex mobility assays of 37 regions were performed on ten UK isolates of varicella zoster virus, four from cases of zoster, and six from cases of chickenpox. The variation between isolates was found to be 0.061%, which is at least five times lower than any other member of the human herpesvirus family. Fifteen of the 37 regions tested had 29 single nucleotide polymorphisms, and over half the polymorphisms were located in four gene fragments. Of the 29 SNPs, eleven were non-synonymous and these were clustered in six genes. Isolates from a child and her mother to whom she had transmitted the virus, were identical at every locus tested. All other viruses could be distinguished by a combination of SNPs and length polymorphisms of the repeat regions R1, R2 and R5.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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