A 2330 nucleotide sequence spanning the 1B (NS2), IC (NS1) and N genes and intergenic regions of human respiratory syncytial virus strain 18537, representing antigenic subgroup B, was determined by sequencing cloned cDNAs of intracellular mRNAs. Comparison with the previously reported sequences for strain A2 of subgroup A showed that 1B, 1C and N were highly conserved at the nucleotide level (78, 78 and 86% identity, respectively) and at the amino acid level (92, 87 and 96% identity, respectively). The gene-start signals were exactly conserved between subgroups, and the gene-end signals contained only a single nucleotide substitution each in 1B and N. In most cases intergenic and non-coding gene sequences that were not part of presumed transcriptive signals were much less well conserved (generally 50 to 71%) than sequences that were part of translational open reading frames (82 to 86%). The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the N gene and protein of the Long strain of subgroup A were determined by sequencing cDNA clones of intracellular mRNA; the nucleotide sequence (representing all but the first 10 nucleotides of the gene) contained 15 differences from that of the A2 strain, but the deduced amino acid sequences were identical.


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