Nucleotide sequencing and serological evidence that the recently recognized deer tick virus is a genotype of Powassan virus

David Beasley, Miguel T. Suderman, Michael R. Holbrook, Alan Barrett

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Deer tick virus (DTV) is a recently recognized North American virus isolated from Ixodes dammini ticks. Nucleotide sequencing of fragments of structural and non-structural protein genes suggested that this virus was most closely related to the tick-borne flavivirus Powassan (POW), which causes potentially fatal encephalitis in humans. To determine whether DTV represents a new and distinct member of the Flavivirus genus of the family Flaviviridae, we sequenced the structural protein genes and 5′ and 3′ non-coding regions of this virus. In addition, we compared the reactivity of DTV and POW in hemagglutination inhibition tests with a panel of polyclonal and monoclonal antisera, and performed cross-neutralization experiments using anti-DTV antisera. Nucleotide sequencing revealed a high degree of homology between DTV and POW at both nucleotide ( > 80% homology) and amino acid ( > 90% homology) levels, and the two viruses were indistinguishable in serological assays and mouse neuroinvasiveness. On the basis of these results, we suggest that DTV should be classified as a genotype of POW virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 5 2001



  • Classification
  • Deer tick virus
  • Flavivirus
  • Sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Virology

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