Respiratory syncytial viruses (RSVs) cause serious respiratory tract disease in infants and children worldwide and similar disease in calves. Strains have been isolated from other ruminant animals such as sheep and goats, but these viruses have not been characterized at the molecular level. In this study, we report the cloning and sequencing of four structural genes coding for the phosphoprotein, nucleocapsid (N) protein, matrix (M) protein and 22K protein of an ovine RSV strain. Comparisons of these sequences with those of bovine and human RSV show that the M and N proteins are the most conserved between ruminant RSV strains and the N protein is the most conserved protein between human and ruminant RSV strains. The attachment G glycoprotein and the small hydrophobic protein are the most divergent proteins among human and ruminant RSV subgroups.


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