Genetic Diversity of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Strains from Iran
AbstractBackground: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is a member of the Bunyaviridae family and Nairovirus genus. It has a negative-sense, single stranded RNA genome approximately 19.2 kb, containing the Small, Medium, and Large segments. CCHFVs are relatively divergent in their genome sequence and grouped in seven distinct clades based on S-segment sequence analysis and six clades based on M-segment sequences. Our aim was to obtain new insights into the molecular epidemiology of CCHFV in Iran.Methods: We analyzed partial and complete nucleotide sequences of the S and M segments derived from 50 Iranian patients. The extracted RNA was amplified using one-step RT-PCR and then sequenced. The sequences were analyzed using Mega5 software.Results: Phylogenetic analysis of partial S segment sequences demonstrated that clade IV-(Asia 1), clade IV-(Asia 2) and clade V-(Europe) accounted for 80 %, 4 % and 14 % of the circulating genomic variants of CCHFV in Iran respectively. However, one of the Iranian strains (Iran-Kerman/22) was associated with none of other sequences and formed a new clade (VII). The phylogenetic analysis of complete S-segment nucleotide sequences from selected Iranian CCHFV strains complemented with representative strains from GenBank revealed similar topology as partial sequences with eight major clusters. A partial M segment phylogeny positioned the Iranian strains in either association with clade III (Asia-Africa) or clade V (Europe).Conclusion: The phylogenetic analysis revealed subtle links between distant geographic locations, which we propose might originate either from international livestock trade or from long-distance carriage of CCHFV by infected ticks via bird migration.
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