We report the molecular characterization, with subtyping of both K1 and K14.1/K15 genomic regions, of seven new human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8) strains from Russian patients with classical Kaposi’s sarcoma. Phylogenetic studies, based on the complete K1 gene/protein analysis, indicate that six of these strains belong to the A subtype, with one belonging to the A4 group and exhibiting a unique deletion of 19 amino acids in the VR2 region at position 186–204. PCR-based studies of the K14.1/K15 genomic region indicate that four of the new strains were of the M subtype while three belonged to the P subtype. Our study indicates an important genetic diversity of the HHV-8 strains currently present in Russia, including a new peculiar strain possessing a unique deletion in the VR2 segment, and confirms the absence of correlation between the K1 and K14.1/K15 molecular subtypes, as M and P genotypes can be observed in the A K1 subtype.


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