1887

Abstract

The aims of this study were to determine if the clinical outcome of Ebola virus (EBOV) infection is associated with virus genetic structure and to document the genetic changes in the Gabon strains of EBOV by sequencing the GP, NP, VP40 and VP24 genes from deceased and surviving symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. GP and NP sequences were identical in the three groups of patients and only one silent substitution occurred in the VP40 and VP24 genes in asymptomatic individuals. A strain from an asymptomatic individual had a reverse substitution to the Gabon-94 sequence, indicating that minor virus variants may cocirculate during an outbreak. These results suggest that the different clinical outcomes of EBOV infection do not result from virus mutations. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that Gabon-96 belonged to the Zaire subtype of EBOV and revealed that synonymous substitution rates were higher than nonsynonymous substitution rates in the GP, VP40 and VP24 genes. In contrast, nonsynonymous substitutions predominated over synonymous substitutions in the NP gene of the two Gabon strains, pointing to divergent evolution of these strains and to selective pressures on this gene.

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2002-01-01
2019-09-23
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