The complete genome sequence of the only identified genotype VII hepatitis A virus (HAV), strain SLF88, was obtained from PCR amplicons generated by a modified long PCR approach. There was 90% nucleotide identity in the 5′ untranslated region compared to other known HAV sequences. In the remainder of the genome containing the long open reading frame, there was about 85% nucleotide identity to human HAV genotypes IA and IB and 80% identity to simian HAV genotype V. Compared to HAV strain HM-175, the capsid amino acids were highly conserved, with only four homologous amino acid changes, while an increasing number of amino acid differences was seen in the P2 and P3 genome regions. While nucleotide variability within the three functional coding regions did not differ, the P3D region was found to have the largest number of amino acid changes compared to HM-175.
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