Identification of European bat lyssavirus isolates with short genomic insertions
Molecular typing has consistently identified European bat lyssaviruses from Germany as EBLV type 1a (EBLV-1a). This report confirms the presence of the closely related EBLV-1b in southern Germany, a group previously reported from The Netherlands, France and Spain. Furthermore, two of three German EBLV-1b isolates contain a 6 base pair insertion within the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of the nucleoprotein gene. This feature was shared with a third EBLV-1b isolate from a region of France adjacent to the French-German border. Further investigation revealed a two base pair insertion in a single isolate of EBLV-2 at the same genomic location. Although the length of the nucleoprotein gene 3'UTRs do vary between lyssavirus genotypes, such insertions have not been recorded within genotypes and could be the result of duplications within the nucleoprotein mRNA transcript polyadenylation signal.