Twenty-two isolates of St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus of various geographical origins (Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, California, and Florida) were examined for genetic variation by the base excision sequence scanning (BESS T-scan) method. A fragment was amplified in the envelope gene with the forward primer labeled in the PCR. The BESS T- scan method determined different clusters according to the profiles generated for the isolates and successfully grouped the isolates according to their geographical origins. Two major clusters, the North American cluster (cluster A) and the South and Central American cluster (cluster B), were defined. Two subgroups, the Texas-California subgroup (subgroup A1) and the Missouri- Maryland-Florida subgroup (subgroup A2), were distinguished within group A. Similarly, group B strains were subclustered to a South American subgroup (subgroup B1) and a Central American subgroup (subgroup B2). These results were consistent with those obtained by DNA sequencing analysis. The ability of the BESS T-scan method to discriminate between strains that present with high degrees of nucleotide sequence similarity indicated that this method provides reliable results and multiple applications for other virus families. The method has proven to be suitable for phylogenetic comparison and molecular epidemiology studies and may be an alternative to DNA sequencing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)