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Virus Res. 2003 Nov;97(2):65-79.

Bat lyssaviruses (Aravan and Khujand) from Central Asia: phylogenetic relationships according to N, P and G gene sequences.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Cliffton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Bat lyssaviruses Aravan and Khujand were isolated in southern Kyrgyzstan in 1991 and in northern Tajikistan in 2001, respectively. Preliminary studies with anti-nucleocapsid monoclonal antibodies suggested that the viruses were distinct from other lyssavirus serotypes. These data were supported by sequencing of the N gene of Aravan virus. In the present study, we sequenced the entire N, P and G genes of both Aravan and Khujand viruses and compared them with respective sequences of other lyssaviruses available from GenBank. The results suggested that each virus should be considered as a newly recognized genotype according to the current approaches for genotype definition (amount of nucleotide identity of the N gene and bootstrap support of joining to certain phylogenetic groups). Use of different phylogenetic methods and comparison of different parts of the genomes generally suggested that Khujand virus was mainly related to genotype 6, while Aravan virus, on the one hand, was related to Khujand virus, and, on the other hand, demonstrated moderate similarity to genotypes 4, 5 and 6. The potential significance of these new lyssaviruses for veterinary and public health should not be underestimated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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