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Arch Virol. 1994;135(1-2):217-26.

Comparison of the polymerase region of small round structured virus strains previously classified in three antigenic types by solid-phase immune electron microscopy.

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Viral Gastroenteritis Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.


We have used a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction with nested sets of primers to determine the nucleotide sequences of a 166 base pair segment of the RNA polymerase region of seven strains of small round structured viruses (SRSVs) from the United Kingdom. These SRSV strains were previously classified by solid-phase immune electron microscopy into three antigenic types--UK2, UK3 and UK4, which are comparable to the prototype strains Norwalk virus, Hawaii agent, and Snow Mountain agents, respectively. Based on their sequences, the seven strains from the United Kingdom could be divided into two groups. The first group included two strains of the UK2 type along with Norwalk virus and Southampton virus and the second group included three strains of UK3 and two strains of UK4 types. Viruses in the first group showed 75.3%-77.1% nucleotide and 89.1%-94.6% amino acid identity with Norwalk virus while those of the second group showed 60.8%-63.3% nucleotide and 67.3%-69.1% amino acid identity. Nucleotide and amino acid identity within the second group ranged between 91.6%-99.4% and 96.4%-100%, respectively. These results suggest that the SRSVs antigenically related with Norwalk virus, Hawaii agent, and Snow Mountain agent, can be classified into two genotypes on the basis of their sequences in the RNA polymerase region.

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