Molecular Epidemiology of SFTSV
Indigenous severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) has been reported to be endemic to China, South Korea, and Japan. To date, several molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic studies of SFTS virus (SFTSV) have been performed. At the beginning of this review, the impact of the source of the samples (i.e., patient specimens vs. in vitro isolates) that potentially affect the phylogenetic analysis was explained in detail. Next, the nucleotide sequences of more than 200 SFTSV strains identified in China, South Korea, and Japan were phylogenetically reanalyzed. The SFTSV strains were clustered into two clades, which were consistent with the geographic distribution (i.e., China and South Korea/Japan) of the viruses. Interestingly, several strains identified in a specific region in China and most of the strains in South Korea were clustered into the Japanese clade. On the other hand, some strains identified in Japan were clustered into the Chinese clade. These results imply that some strains of SFTSV in China and South Korea were transmitted, likely several times, from Japan across the East China Sea and/or the Sea of Japan, and vice versa.
KeywordsPhylogenetic analysis Epidemiology Next-generation sequencing Genotyping Migratory birds
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