To define the genetic variability of RHDV strains collected in eastern Hungary, liver samples from rabbits that had died of RHD were collected between 1988 and 2003. The phylogenetic analysis of a 528-nucleotide-long portion of the gene encoding the VP60 capsid protein assigned the strains into three genogroups. The first group contained viruses from 1988-1993, and a second group comprised isolates from 1994-2002. A third group comprised all of the tested representatives of the RHDVa subtype and a Hungarian isolate from 2003. These findings were supported by the alignments of the deduced amino acid sequences of the VP60 gene and strongly suggest the presence of the RHDVa subtype in Hungary.
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