Brief Report

Archives of Virology

, Volume 150, Issue 9, pp 1903-1909

First online:

Proposal for genetic characterisation of wild-type mumps strains: Preliminary standardisation of the nomenclature

  • L. JinAffiliated withVirus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency
  • , B. RimaAffiliated withMedical Biology Centre, The Queen’s University of Belfast
  • , D. BrownAffiliated withVirus Reference Department, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency
  • , C. ÖrvellAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Virology, Huddinge University Hospital
  • , T. TecleAffiliated withDivision of Clinical Virology, Huddinge University Hospital
  • , M. AfzalAffiliated withDivision of Virology, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control
  • , K. UchidaAffiliated withVirus Division, Saitama Institute of Public Health
  • , T. NakayamaAffiliated withLaboratory of Viral Infection, Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences
  • , J.-W. SongAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Institute for Viral Diseases, College of Medicine, Korea University
    • , C. KangAffiliated withLaboratory of Respiratory Viruses, National Institute of Health
    • , P. A. RotaAffiliated withMeasles Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • , W. XuAffiliated withNational Laboratory for Measles, Institute of Virology Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    • , D. FeatherstoneAffiliated withDepartment of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization

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Though mumps virus (MuV) is a monotypic virus, genetic variation between strains has been described. Viruses have been placed into genotypes designated A–L based on the nucleotide sequence of the small hydrophobic (SH) gene, which is the most variable gene in the mumps genome. Molecular characterisation of MuV is an important component of mumps surveillance because it can help identify the transmission pathways of the virus as well as distinguish between wild-type and vaccine strains. Here, we propose a standardized nomenclature and an analysis protocol for the genetic characterisation of mumps strains to facilitate expansion of molecular epidemiological studies. In addition to assigning standard reference strains for the recognized genotypes of MuV, a convention is proposed for naming for strains and criteria to designate a new genotype.