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J Clin Microbiol. 2011 May;49(5):1917-25. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02387-10. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Characterization of mumps viruses circulating in Mongolia: identification of a novel cluster of genotype H.

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Department of Virology III, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.


Although mumps virus is still causing annual epidemics in Mongolia, very few epidemiological and virological data have been reported. We describe here the first phylogenetic analysis data on the mumps viruses circulated in Mongolia in 2009. We detected 21 mumps virus cDNAs and obtained a virus isolate from 32 throat swabs of mumps patients in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The phylogenetic analyses based on the 316 nucleotides of the small hydrophobic gene show that these sequences form a single cluster, with the closest relatedness to the viruses belonging to genotype H. According to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, Mongolian mumps viruses could be classified into a novel genotype because the divergence between new sequences and genotype H reference viruses is >5% (6.3 to 8.2%). However, additional analyses based on the fusion gene, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase gene, and the whole-genome indicate that the divergences between the Mongolian isolate and other genotype H strains never exceed the within-genotype divergences of other genotypes. These results suggest that Mongolia strains should be included in genotype H and that the current criteria for mumps virus genotyping should be revised. We propose here that the Mongolian viruses should be classified as a new subgenotype termed H3. Since previous epidemiological studies suggested that genotypes H may be associated with central nervous system diseases, we evaluated the neurovirulence of the Mongolian isolate in the neonatal rat system. However, the virus does not exhibit prominent neurovirulence in rats.

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