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Virology. 1985 May;143(1):230-51.

Orthopoxvirus DNA: a comparison of restriction profiles and maps.


Characteristic DNA endonuclease digest fragment electropherograms and restriction site maps permitted differentiation and genome structure analysis of 38 orthopoxviruses that included isolates of monkeypox virus from humans and animals, monkeypox white variants, variola, vaccinia, ectromelia, Tatera (gerbil) and raccoon poxviruses, and cowpox and camelpox viruses. HindIII cleavage sites mapped on the 38 virus genome DNAs plus SmaI, BglI, SacI, KpnI, XhoI, and SalI maps for variola (Harvey) and monkeypox (Copenhagen) virus DNAs were derived essentially by cross-hybridizations with monkeypox, vaccinia, and variola virus-cloned DNA restriction fragments, thus digest fragments could be assigned homologous regions on previously established genome maps. Salient of our observations, the DNA HindIII maps correlated to a high degree, but variations in middle and especially terminal DNA region cleavage sites provided a basis for discerning species, strains and variants. The extent of the inverted terminal repetitions (ITRs) for 37 DNAs were determined with HindIII, PvuI, SalI, and ClaI, plus nine more restriction enzymes for Bangladesh variola virus DNA by hybridizations with either the terminal tandemly repeated 70-bp segment or an EcoRI-PvuI near hairpin-end 75-bp segment from WR vaccinia virus. The opposite terminal regions of variola DNA were considerably asymmetrical compared to the large symmetrical ITRs of the other species examined. An apparent DNA inversion and concurrent deletion (1 kbp) with subsequent repair of DNA to original structure was suggested from right terminal region maps of four viruses chosen from a variola virus passage series in monkeys. Correlative with virus geographic distribution, two strains of monkeypox virus, each containing two variants, were differentiated by DNA profiles of isolates from smallpox-like disease (SLD) patients of the African rainforest region. The DNAs of five monkeypox viruses isolated from laboratory and zoo animals resembled most DNAs from SLD monkeypox viruses from Sierra Leone. A poxvirus from an American raccoon contained 40% DNA that did not cross-hybridize with orthopoxvirus DNA probes. The DNAs of recent isolates from a gerbil and from a camel each mapped as unique African orthopoxvirus species and differed from variola virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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