Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is a major global pathogen, infecting 16% of people 15 to 49 years old worldwide and causing recurrent genital ulcers. Little is known about viral factors contributing to virulence, and there are currently only two genomic sequences available. In this study, we determined nearly complete genomic sequences of six additional HSV-2 isolates, using Illumina MiSeq. We report that HSV-2 has a genomic overall mean distance of 0.2355%, which is less than that of HSV-1. There were approximately 100 amino-acid-encoding and indels per genome. Microsatellite mapping found a bias toward intergenic regions in the nonconserved microsatellites and a genic bias in all detected tandem repeats. Extensive recombination between the HSV-2 strains was also strongly implied. This was the first study to analyze multiple HSV-2 sequences, and the data will be valuable in future evolutionary, virulence, and structure-function studies.
Importance: HSV-2 is a significant worldwide pathogen, causing recurrent genital ulcers. Here we present six nearly complete HSV-2 genomic sequences, and, with the addition of two previously sequenced strains, for the first time genomic, phylogenetic, and recombination analysis was performed on multiple HSV-2 genomes. Our results show that microsatellite mapping found a bias toward intergenic regions in the nonconserved microsatellites and a genic bias in all detected tandem repeats and confirm that chimpanzee herpesvirus 1 (ChHV-1) is a separate species and that each of the HSV-2 strains is a genomic mosaic.
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