Three variants of herpes simplex virus type 1 strain 17 were isolated. One variant had a deletion of 2.5 × 10 in IR/U and 0.8 × 10 in TR such that sequences were deleted from both long repeats. The deletion in U removed the 20K and 22K open reading frames. The second variant had a deletion of 3.5 × 10 in IR/U which again removed the 20K and 22K open reading frames. The third variant had a similar deletion in U, but in this case the deleted sequences were replaced by sequences from the left end of U, such that the long repeat was extended by 3 × 10 and the overall genome size by 2 × 10 . All three variants grew almost normally . The analysis of 11 isolates with extensive variation in the long repeats outside the ‘’ sequence is also reported.


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