The foot-and-mouth disease virus field isolate Burg-wedel/1987 subtype O was found to differ genetically from the antigenically related strain O Kaufbeuren within the region encoding the non-structural proteins. This genetic difference was indicated by the RNase mismatch cleavage method and confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. An alignment of sequences encoding proteinase 3C of the Burgwedel isolate and several other virus strains identified this isolate as an intertypic recombinant; the parent strains were O Kaufbeuren and a subtype C strain. Recombination occurred between nucleotide positions 5493 and 5521, within the region encoding peptide 3B. Thus, the 5′ three-quarters of the O genome were fused to the 3′-terminal quarter of the C genome. Other contemporary isolates from the same district are not recombinants. Sequence alignment distinguished four patterns of proteinase 3C-coding sequences among the virus strains analysed: subtypes A, C and O exhibit one pattern each, and another pattern is common to subtypes A, A and O.


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