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Virol J. 2010 Jun 14;7:127. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-7-127.

Molecular epidemiology of Japanese encephalitis virus circulating in South Korea, 1983-2005.

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WHO Japanese Encephalitis Regional Reference Laboratory for the Western Pacific Region/Division of Arboviruses, National Institute of Health, Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


We sequenced the envelope (E) gene of 17 strains of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) isolated in South Korea in 1983-2005 and compared the sequences with those from previously reported strains. Our results show the remarkable genetic stability of the E gene sequence in Korean JEV strains. Five pairs of E gene sequences from 10 Korean strains were identical, despite geographical differences and a maximum five-year time span. Sequence comparisons with other Asian strains revealed that the Korean strains are closely related to those from China, Japan, and Vietnam. Genotype 3 strains were predominant in Korea before 1993, when genotype 1 strain K93A07 was first isolated. The two genotypes were detected simultaneously in 1994 but since then, only genotype 1 has been isolated in South Korea. Thus, the genotype change occurred according to the year of isolation rather than the geographical origin.

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