We examined the relationship between a measles virus isolate from a child with Kawasaki disease and two contemporaneous wild-type isolates from children with ‘classical’ measles and the Schwarz vaccine strain. Sequence analysis of 3118 bp from the nucleoprotein, matrix, fusion and haemagglutinin genes of each virus revealed that the isolate from the child with Kawasaki disease was not related to measles vaccine strains and did not contain any of the marked abnormalities previously found in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis isolates, but was more akin to wild-type isolates currently circulating in the U.K. A comparison of our sequences with those obtained from earlier wild-type U.K. isolates suggests significant evolution of measles virus in the U.K. over the last decade.


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