Volume 55, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The complete sequence of the genome of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) Ling strain isolated from the brain of a patient in Taiwan in 1965 was cloned by using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method. Seven overlapping cDNA clones that span the entire virus genome were isolated and sequenced to determine the complete nucleotide sequence, which is 10,951 nucleotides in length. As reported for three other JEV strains (Beijing-1, SA-14, and JaOArS982), the Ling strain contains 95 nucleotides in the 5′ nontranslated region (NTR), followed by a single open reading frame of 10,296 nucleotides. However, the length of the 3′ NTR of JEV Ling is 560 nucleotides, 25 nucleotides shorter than that of other JEV strains sequenced to date. Comparison of nucleotide and amino acid sequences among these four JEV strains showed that nucleotide (amino acid) sequence divergence in the translated region varied from 1.25% to 3.27% (0.49–1.63%). The nucleotide (amino acid) divergences between the Ling and Beijing-1 strains were 1.25% (0.87%) and between the SA-14 and JaOArS982 strains were 1.42% (0.49%). These values are lower than those found between the Ling and SA-14 [2.44% (1.02%)] or the Ling and JaOArS982 strains [2.84% (0.93%)], as well as those between Beijing-1 and SA-14 [3.14% (1.60%)] or Beijing-1 and JaOArS982 [3.27% (1.63%)] strains. Sequence comparisons of subregions of the genomes i.e., structural genes, nonstructural genes, or individual genes, showed divergence similar to that obtained by comparing the entire sequence. It is likely that the JEV sequence divergence between two human isolates or between two mosquito isolates is lower than that between a human isolate and a mosquito isolate.


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