Genetic variability of porcine parvovirus isolates revealed by analysis of partial sequences of the structural coding gene VP2
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The 3'-terminal 853 nt (and the putative 283 aa) sequence of the VP2-encoding gene from 29 field strains of porcine parvovirus (PPV) were determined and compared both to each other and with other published sequences. Sequences were examined using maximum-parsimony and statistical analyses for nucleotide diversity and sequence variability. Among the nucleotide sequences of the PPV field strains, 26 polymorphic sites were encountered; 22 polymorphic sites were detected in the putative amino acid sequence. Mapping polymorphic sites of protein data onto the three-dimensional (3D) structure of PPV VP2 revealed that almost all substitutions were located on the external surface of the viral capsid. Mapping amino acid substitutions to the alignment between PPV VP2 sequences and the 3D structure of canine parvovirus (CPV) capsid, many PPV substitutions were observed to map to regions of recognized antigenicity and/or to contain phenotypically important residues for CPV and other parvoviruses. In spite of the high sequence similarity, genetic analysis has shown the existence of at least two virus lineages among the samples. In conclusion, these results highlight the need for close surveillance on PPV genetic drift, with an assessment of its potential ability to modify the antigenic make-up of the virus.