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Phylogenetic analysis of bovine leukemia viruses isolated in South America reveals diversification in seven distinct genotypes

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Bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) is an oncogenic member of the genus Deltaretrovirus of the family Retroviridae. Recent studies revealed that BLV strains can be classified into six different genotypes and raised the possibility that another genotype may exist. In order to gain insight into the degree of genetic variability of BLV strains circulating in the South American region, a phylogenetic analysis was performed using gp51 env gene sequences. The results of these studies revealed the presence of seven BLV genotypes in this geographic region and the suitability of partial gp51 env gene sequences for phylogenetic inference. A significant number of amino acid substitutions found in BLV strains isolated in South America map to the second neutralization domain of gp51. A 3D molecular model of BLV gp51 revealed that these substitutions are located on the surface of the molecule. This may provide a selective advantage to overcome immune host neutralization.

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We would like to thank Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA, Uruguay) for support through Project No. FPTA-INIA 174 and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (LIA-LPVL). Authors also acknowledge support by PEDECIBA and Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII) (Uruguay).

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Correspondence to Otto Pritsch.

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G. Moratorio and G. Obal contributed equally to this work.

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Moratorio, G., Obal, G., Dubra, A. et al. Phylogenetic analysis of bovine leukemia viruses isolated in South America reveals diversification in seven distinct genotypes. Arch Virol 155, 481–489 (2010).

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