Hungarian tick-borne encephalitis viruses isolated from a 0.5-ha focus are closely related to Finnish strains

László Egyed, Zsuzsanna Rónai, Ádám Dán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Four tick-borne encephalitis virus strains were isolated from a small 0.5-ha focus over a six-year-long period (2011–2016) in Hungary. Two strains with identical genomes were isolated from Ixodes ricinus and Haemaphysalis concinna two months apart, which shows that the virus had not evolved separately in these tick species. Whole-genome sequencing of the virus revealed that the isolates differed from each other in 4 amino acids and 9 nucleotides. The calculated substitution rates indicated that the speed of genome evolution differs from habitat to habitat, and continuously changes even within the same focus. The amino acid changes affected the capsid, envelope, NS2a and NS5 genes, and one mutation each occurred in the 5′ and 3′ NCR as well as the premembrane, NS2a and NS5 genes. Phylogenetic analyses based on complete coding ORF sequences showed that the isolates belong to the European subtype of the virus and are closely related to the Finnish Kumlinge strains, the Bavarian isolate Leila and two isolates of Russian origin, but more distantly related to viruses from the neighbouring Central European countries. These isolates obviously have a common origin and are probably connected by migrating birds. These are the first published complete Hungarian TBEV sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1068
Number of pages5
JournalTicks and Tick-borne Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018



  • Hungarian isolates
  • Natural focus
  • Sequence analysis
  • Tick-borne encephalitis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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