Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a causative agent of chickenpox in primary infection and shingles after its reactivation from latency. Complete or almost-complete genomic DNA sequences for various VZV strains have been reported. Recently, clinical VZV strains were isolated from Korean patients whose genome was sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technology. In this study, we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of VZV strains to genetically characterize Korean clinical isolates. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that three Korean strains, YC01, YC02, and YC03, were linked to clade 2. Comprehensive SNP analysis identified 86 sites specific for the 5 VZV clades. VZV strains isolated from Korea did not form a phylogenetic cluster. Rather, YC02 and YC03 clustered strongly with Chinese strain 84-7 within clade 2, more specifically cluster 2a. Signature sequences for the cluster 2a were identified and found to play an important role in the separation of cluster 2a strains from other clade 2 strains, as shown in substitution studies. Further genetic analysis with additional strains isolated from Japan, China, and other Asian countries would provide a novel insight into the significance of two distinct subclades within clade 2.
- Clade 2
- Korean strains
- Varicella-zoster virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology