Phylogeographic patterns exhibited by Ontario rabies virus variants
A previous study on N gene variation of rabies viruses circulating in Ontario red foxes identified four viral variants. This study confirms the geographical localization of these variants and extends the analysis to the less conserved G gene of these viruses. A greater number of regionally localized variants was revealed and their phylogenetic relationships have been examined. Ongoing surveillance on recent disease outbreaks revealed that variants do not always persist in specific areas. The distribution of these variants did however appear to be influenced by topographical features of the study area likely to affect host animal movements and contacts. The majority of G gene base changes were synonymous and limited glycoprotein sequence variation predominantly to the C-terminal transmembrane and endo-domains. These data are most readily explained by random appearance of genetic viral variants followed by their spread throughout sub-populations of the fox host according to the easiest routes of transmission.(Accepted May 1 1999)
c1 Author for correspondence.