A Comparison of La Crosse Virus Isolates Obtained from Different Ecological Niches and an Analysis of the Structural Components of California Encephalitis Serogroup Viruses and other Bunyaviruses

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  • Department of Microbiology, The Medical Center, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Center for Disease Control, Fort Collins, New York State Laboratories, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Birmingham, Alabama 35294

Analyses of the oligonucleotide fingerprints of the three genome ribonucleic acid (RNA) species of 11 isolates of La Crosse (LAC) virus, obtained from various ecological niches in the northern United States and compared to those of prototype LAC virus, showed that in each place from which these isolates were obtained LAC variants and varieties were present with related, but distinguishable, nucleotide sequences for their large, medium, or small RNA species. The RNA genomes of prototypes trivittatus (TVT), snowshoe hare (SSH), Tahyna (TAH), and Lumbo (a variety of TAH) viruses of the California encephalitis (CE) serogroup, and Guaroa of the Bunyamwera serogroup also consist of three RNA species, each with unique and distinguishable nucleotide sequences which bear little resemblance to those of the LAC virus isolates. The virions of CE group viruses (CE, Jamestown Canyon, Keystone, LAC, Melao, SSH, TVT, TAH viruses and South River, an unregistered virus) have three major viral polypeptides, designated G1, G2, and N.