Variations in the viral genome and biological properties of bovine leukemia virus wild-type strains

Hironobu Murakami, Jumpei Uchiyama, Chihiro Suzuki, Sae Nikaido, Kaho Shibuya, Reiichiro Sato, Yosuke Maeda, Michiko Tomioka, Shin nosuke Takeshima, Hajime Kato, Masahiro Sakaguchi, Hiroshi Sentsui, Yoko Aida, Kenji Tsukamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is the etiological agent of enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL), which causes enormous economic losses in the livestock industry worldwide. To reduce the economic loss caused by BLV infection, it is important to clarify the characters associated with BLV transmissibility and pathogenesis in cattle. In this study, we focused on viral characters and examined spontaneous mutations in the virus and viral properties by analyses of whole genome sequences and BLV molecular clones derived from cows with and without EBL. Genomic analysis indicated that all 28 strains harbored limited genetic variations but no deletion mutations that allowed classification into three groups (A, B, and C), except for one strain. Some nucleotide/amino acid substitutions were specific to a particular group. On the other hand, these genetic variations were not associated with the host bovine leukocyte antigen-DRB3 allele, which is known to be related to BLV pathogenesis. The viral replication activity in vitro was high, moderate, and low in groups A, B, and C, respectively. In addition, the proviral load, which is related to BLV transmissibility and pathogenesis, was high in cows infected with group A strains and low in those infected with group B/C strains. Therefore, these results suggest that limited genetic variations could affect viral properties relating to BLV transmissibility and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalVirus research
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine leukemia virus
  • Genetic variation
  • Molecular clone
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Proviral load
  • Viral property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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