Rabies virus (RV), the agent of rabies, can cause a severe encephalomyelitis in several species of mammals, including humans. As a human rabies vaccine strain employed in China, the genetic knowledge of the aG strain has not been fully studied. The main goal of the present study is to amplify the whole genome of aG strain, and genetic relationships between other vaccine strains and wild strains were analyzed.
The entire genome of human rabies virus vaccine strain aG employed in China was sequenced; this is the second rabies virus vaccine strain from China to be fully characterized. The overall organization and the length of the genome were similar to that of other lyssaviruses. The length of aG strain was 11925nt, comprising a leader sequence of 58nt, nucleoprotein (N) gene of 1353nt, phosphoprotein (P) gene of 894 nt, matrix protein (M) gene of 609nt, glycoprotein (G) gene of 1575nt, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp,L) gene of 6384nt, and a trailer region of 70 nt. There was TGAAAAAAA (TGA7) consensus sequence in the end of each gene, except AGA7 at the end of G gene. There was AACAYYYCT consensus start signal at the beginning of each gene.
In this report, we analyzed the full genome of China human rabies vaccine strain aG. Our studies indicated that the genome of aG retained the basic characteristics of RV. At gene level, N was the most conserved among the five coding genes, indicating this gene is the most appropriate for quantitative genotype definition. The phylogenetic analysis of the N indicated the aG strain clustered most closely with Japanese and Russian rabies vaccine strains, suggesting that they may share the same ancestor; also, the aG strain did not share high homology with wild strains isolated from China, making it may not be the best vaccine strain, more research is needed to elucidate the genetic relationship among the RV circulating in China.