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News of Ekaterinburg

Ural biologists ascertained origin of the virus of tick-borne encephalitis

18 января 2010 22:01

The virus of tick-borne encephalitis appeared in the Urals 400 years ago with the beginning of active colonization of Siberia. From its natural focus disease was borne by animals accompanying people on trade ways, and then it reached at least the Baltic coast. Having analyzed virus gene, biologists of Ural state university made this discover.

«Tick-borne encephalitis is a tribute paid by the Europeans for development of Siberia which considerably expedited natural spread of the virus,- Sergey Kovalev head of the laboratory of molecular genetics, candidate of biological science.- To know how virus develops and spreads is necessary to create preventive strategy for struggle against it. Our results can be used for other naturofocal diseases which causative agents are borne by ticks».

According to scientists unique geographical position of Sverdlovsk oblast helped them to make the discovery. All known strains of the Siberian genotype of virus are presented in this territory. Historical Russian ways to Siberia also lie here.

Thanks to it, and also to unique collection of strains, created in 1960-80th years, it was possible to ascertain both the age of population of the virus, and place of its concentration along roads.

Recent equipment of the laboratory of molecular genetics of the university also played important role. It allows to single out genetic material of the virus among many DNA and to analyze gene practically in real time. The equipment was got in the limits of innovatively-educational program which the university successfully carried out in 2007-2008. The results of research have been recently published in the British journal «General virology».

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