Of 75 varicella-zoster virus (VZV) isolates obtained from patients in Africa, Asia, and the Far East, 74 (98.6%) were found to be positive for a BglI restriction site in gene 54. By contrast, <22% of strains from patients in the United Kingdom and in North and South America were positive for the BglI restriction site. Viruses positive for BglI were significantly more common in zoster occurring in patients of nonwhite origin (P<.05). Irrespective of the country in which the sample was obtained, 98% of strains positive for BglI clustered within a single phylogenetic group, which we termed "group A"; the exception was 1 strain that appeared to be recombinant genotype C/A. We used the BglI site to examine both the spread of type A viruses in the United Kingdom and the patterns of VZV infections within persons from different ethnic groups who grew up in the United Kingdom or abroad.
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View details for PubMedID 12232828