Journal Article Isolation and characterization of tick-borne encephalitis virus from Ixodes persulcatus in Mongolia in 2012

Muto, Memi  ,  Bazartseren, Boldbaatar  ,  Tsevel, Bazartseren  ,  Dashzevge, Erdenechimeg  ,  Yoshii, Kentaro  ,  Kariwa, Hiroaki

6 ( 5 )  , pp.623 - 629 , 2015-07 , Elsevier
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a zoonotic virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus, in the family Flaviviridae. The virus, which is endemic in Europe and northern parts of Asia, causes severe encephalitis. Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) has been reported in Mongolia since the 1980s, but details about the biological characteristics of the endemic virus are lacking. In this study, 680 ticks (Ixodes persulcatus) were collected in Selenge aimag, northern Mongolia, in 2012. Nine Mongolian TBEV strains were isolated from tick homogenates. A sequence analysis of the envelope protein gene revealed that all isolates belonged to the Siberian subtype of TBEV. Two strains showed similar growth properties in cultured cells, but their virulence in mice differed. Whole genome sequencing revealed only thirteen amino acid differences between these Mongolian TBEV strains. Our results suggest that these naturally occurring amino acid mutations affected the pathogenicity of Mongolian TBEV. Our results may be an important platform for monitoring TBEV to evaluate the epidemiological risk in TBE endemic areas of Mongolia. (C) 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

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