The genome DNAs of 12 strains of human parvovirus B19, isolated in Japan at two different times, 1981 and 1986 to 1987, were molecularly cloned in the plasmid pUC18. The cloned B19 DNAs were analysed by cleaving with restriction endonucleases, and were classified into several groups by genome type. The restriction endonuclease cutting patterns of B19 strains isolated during 1981 were similar to that of the group IV genome type, and the patterns of those isolated later were similar to that of group II, suggesting a correlation between the genome type and the prevalence. We conclude that the prevalences of B19 infection in Japan during 1981 and in 1986 to 1987 were caused by viruses differing in genome type, and that B19 viruses with similar genome types disseminated widely in Japan during each prevalence.


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