Toward universal varicella-zoster virus (VZV) genotyping: Diversity of VZV strains from France and Spain

Vladimir Loparev, Elisa Martro, Elena Rubtcova, Carlos Rodrigo, Jean Charles Piette, Eric Caumes, Jean Paul Vernant, D. Scott Schmid, Anne Marie Fillet

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Thirty-one isolates from France and Spain were genotyped using a published method analyzing DNA sequence variation in open reading frame (ORF) 22, together with an evaluation of three well-characterized single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in ORF 38, 54, and 62. Nineteen were allocated to the European (E) genotype, six were mosaic-1 (M1), and two were mosaic-2 (M2). Four strains were assigned to a new genotype, mosaic-4 (M4). All isolates were wild type, with no Oka vaccine-associated markers. No isolates of the mosaic-3 (M3) or Japanese (J) genotype were observed. We also evaluated 13 selected isolates of E, J, M1, and M2 strains (9 of the 31 described above) using an alternative genotyping method based on the assessment of multiple SNP located in ORF 1, 9, 10, 21, 31, 50, 54, 62, and 68. This method assigns wild-type varicella-zoster virus (VZV) strains to seven genotypes: A1, A2, J1, B1, B2, C, and C1. VZV isolates identified as E (ORF22 method) had the genetic signature of genotype C VZV strains, M1 strains were A1, and M2 were A2. No J strains were detected, but parental Oka and vaccine Oka (genotype J) corresponded to genotype J1. M4 isolates (B) share the SNP array observed for M1 and E viruses, and probably represent recombinants between African-Asian (M1) and European (E) viruses. The two genotyping methods, using entirely different genomic targets, produced identical clusters for the strains examined, suggesting robust phylogenetic linkages among VZV strains circulating in Europe. Copyright © 2007, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-563
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007


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