DAO 52:29-37 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/dao052029

Phylogenetic analysis of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) isolates from France (1971-1999)

R. Thiéry1,*, C. de Boisséson2, J. Jeffroy1, J. Castric1, P. de Kinkelin3, A. Benmansour3

1Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Site de Brest, Unité Pathologie Infectieuse et Parasitaire des Poissons, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
2Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Site de Ploufragan, Unité Génétique Virale et Biosécurité, BP 53, 22440 Ploufragan, France
3Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, Cédex, France

ABSTRACT: The nucleotide sequences of a specific region of the glycoprotein gene were compared among 63 strains of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) isolated from fish in France between 1971 and 1999. The analysis was performed on a region corresponding to amino acids 238 to 331 of the glycoprotein gene, also designated the V2 region and previously shown to accumulate most of the mutations. The sequences of many VHSV isolates were found to be identical or very conserved. An isolate, designated L59X, obtained from elver in the Loire estuary, depicted a higher degree of divergence compared to the other French isolates. The deduced amino-acid sequences were analysed together with the results of neutralisation tests performed using monoclonal antibody 168m4 specific to serotype 1. Non-neutralised VHSV strains had mutations in the region corresponding to the previously described 168m4 epitope. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the VHSV isolates studied, except L59X, belong to genotype I, previously described as containing VHSV strains isolated from continental Europe. Most of the VHSV isolates studied were found to be genetically related to one of the previously described VHSV strains representative of the major serotypes. Isolate L59X, which was the only French marine strain studied, was found to belong to genotype II, previously shown to encompass the VHSV strains isolated from the British Isles coastal waters. Overall there was a good correlation between the geographical origin of the studied isolates and their genetic characteristics.


KEY WORDS: Viral haemorragic septicaemia virus · Novirhabdoviruses · Phylogeny · Glycoprotein


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