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J Clin Virol. 2003 Sep;28(1):104-10.

Genomic analysis of varicella-zoster virus: primers for individual open reading frames.

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Departments of Microbiology and Pediatrics, University of Iowa Hospital/2501 JCP, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The genome of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) contains nearly 125,000 bp. Preliminary genomic analysis has revealed that VZV may be less immutable than once thought. Through the investigation of the VZV genome using specifically designed oligonucleotides, it has been learned that sequence variation within VZV open reading frame 62 can distinguish between vaccine and wild-type virus. Additionally, the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms within the VZV genome has identified distinct VZV populations originating from circumscribed geographic locations. In order for future studies of VZV genetic diversity to be carried out, amplifying and sequencing primers for individual VZV genes have been catalogued. Additionally, this report will facilitate the selection of VZV primers by which to distinguish clinical VZV isolates from vaccinia virus isolates.

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