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Virology. 2006 Jul 5;350(2):251-7. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Phylogeny and evolution of old world arenaviruses.

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Unité des Virus Emergents (EA3292, IFR48, IRD UR178), Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


The intention of this study was to investigate the genomics, phylogeny and evolution of the Old World arenaviruses based on sequence data representing the four viral genes. To achieve this aim, we sequenced the complete S and L RNA segments of Ippy virus (IPPYV), Mobala virus (MOBV) and Mopeia virus (MOPV). Full-length sequences of the NP, GPC, Z and L genes were used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and to compare resulting tree topologies. Each of the five Old World arenavirus species (namely Lassa virus [LASV], IPPYV, MOBV, MOPV and Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus [LCMV]) are monophyletic; seven selected strains of LASV showed a similar topology regardless of the gene under analysis; IPPYV rooted the three other African arenaviruses; the four African arenaviruses are rooted by the ubiquitous LCMV; and the tree topologies of the three African arenaviruses other than LASV are identical regardless of the gene used for analysis. No evidence for significant evolutionary events such as intra- or intersegmental recombination was obtained.

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