Genotypes of JC virus in East, Central and Southwest Europe

J Gen Virol. 2001 May;82(Pt 5):1221-1331. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-82-5-1221.


Distinctive genotypes of JC virus have been described for the major continental landmasses. Studies on European-Americans and small cohorts in Europe showed predominantly Type 1. Types 2 and 7 are found in Asia, and Types 3 and 6 in Africa. These genotypes differ in sequence by about 1--3%. Each genotype may have several subtypes which differ from each other by about 0.5--1%. The genotypes can be defined by a distinctive pattern of nucleotides in a typing region of the VP1 gene. This genotyping approach has been confirmed by phylogenetic reconstruction using the entire genome exclusive of the rearranging regulatory region. In this first large European study, we report on the urinary excretion of JCV DNA of 350 individuals from Poland, Hungary, Germany and Spain. We included Gypsy cohorts in Hungary (Roma), Germany (Sinti), and Spain (Gitano), as well as Basques in Spain. We show that while Type 1 predominates in Europe, the proportions of Type 1A and 1B may differ from East to Southwest Europe. Type 4, closely related to the Type 1 sequence (only approximately 1% difference) was a minor genotype in Germany, Poland and Spain, but represented the majority in Basques. The Gitanos in Spain showed a variant Type 4 sequence termed 'Rom-1'. Interestingly, neither the Gitanos in Spain, nor Sinti or Roma in Germany or Hungary showed the Type 2 or Type 7 genotype that might be expected if their origins were in an Asian population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • JC Virus / classification
  • JC Virus / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*


  • DNA, Viral

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF281600
  • GENBANK/AF281609
  • GENBANK/AF281610
  • GENBANK/AF281611
  • GENBANK/AF281612
  • GENBANK/AF281613
  • GENBANK/AF281622