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Genetic recombination of tick borne flaviviruses among wild-type strains

TittelGenetic recombination of tick borne flaviviruses among wild-type strains
ForfatterNorberg P, Roth A, Bergström T.
KommentarForskningsrapport som påvisar rekombination mellan olika TBEV, vilket tidigare varit omstritt. Förklarar problematik runt påvisande av rekombination hos genetiskt mycket närbesläktade virusstammar.
SammendragGenetic recombination has been suggested to occur in mosquito-borne flaviviruses. In contrast, tick-borne flaviviruses have been thought to evolve in a clonal manner, although recent studies suggest that recombination occurs also for these viruses. We re-analyzed the data and found that previous conclusions on wild type recombination were probably falsely drawn due to misalignments of nucleotide sequences, ambiguities in GenBank sequences, or different laboratory culture histories suggestive of recombination events in laboratory. To evaluate if reliable predictions of wild type recombination of tick-borne flaviviruses can be made, we analyzed viral strains sequenced exclusively for this study, and other flavivirus sequences retrieved from GenBank. We detected genetic signals supporting recombination between viruses within the three clades of TBEV-Eu, TBEV-Sib and TBEV-Fe, respectively. Our results suggest that the tick-borne encephalitis viruses may undergo recombination under natural conditions, but that geographic barriers restrict most recombination events to involve only closely genetically related viruses.