New insights into the genetics of EBLV-1 from Germany
Previous epidemiological studies on EBLVs indicated a distinct geographical distribution of EBLV-1 in Germany. In this study, 48 isolates were selected to further investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of EBLV-1 variants in Germany. The nucleoprotein-gene (N), the nucleoprotein-phosphoprotein spanning untranslated region (NP-UTR) and the UTR between G- and L-gene of each isolate were sequenced using direct cycle sequencing. Results of the subsequent phylogenetic analysis of the N-gene confirmed previous studies on EBLVs, showing a high sequence identity among German EBLV-1a isolates, and a correlation between genetic and temporal and spatial distance, respectively, was shown. Our results indicate that the GL-UTR is not suitable for phylogenetic analyses. Interestingly, 6 nt insertions in two isolates as well as a single nucleotide insertion in a different isolate were detected in the N-P UTR. Within the UTR between G- and L-gene one isolate showed a 35 nt deletion. The effect of those changes on viral properties remains elusive as such mutations have not been described for lyssaviruses before.