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Evolutionary pattern of the hemagglutinin gene of influenza B viruses isolated in Japan: cocirculating lineages in the same epidemic season

Evolutionary pattern of the hemagglutinin gene of influenza B viruses isolated in Japan: cocirculating lineages in the same epidemic season

Journal of Virology 64(6): 2860-2865

The unexpectedly low efficacy of influenza vaccine during school outbreaks of influenza B virus in the spring of 1987 in Japan was probably attributable to a poor antibody response of vaccinees to the epidemic viruses. An antigenic analysis of the causative B viruses isolated in 1987 and 1988 showed much variation in hemagglutination inhibition patterns. The nucleotide sequences that code for the HA1 domain of B/Fukuoka/c-27/81, B/Ibaraki/2/85, B/Nagasaki/1/87, and B/Yamagata/16/88 viruses were determined and compared with those of the previously reported hemagglutinin genes. The nucleotide sequences of the hemagglutinin gene of a new variant, B/Yamagata/16/88, had only 93.4% homology with those of two other viruses from the same epidemic. An analysis of nucleotide and amino acid substitutions of the hemagglutinin genes of influenza B viruses revealed that new and some old variants could cocirculate in the same epidemic. A phylogenetic tree constructed by the neighbor-joining method allowed estimation of an evolutionary rate of 2.3 .times. 10-3 synonymous (silent) substitutions per nucleotide site per year in the hemagglutinin gene.

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Accession: 007327811

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PMID: 2335820

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