Global Distribution of Rubella Virus Genotypes

Du Ping Zheng, Teryl K. Frey, Joseph Icenogle, Shigetaka Katow, Emily S. Abernathy, Ki Joon Song, Wen Bo Xu, Vitaly Yarulin, R. G. Desjatskova, Yair Aboudy, Gisela Enders, Margaret Croxson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Phylogenetic analysis of a collection of 103 E1 gene sequences from rubella viruses isolated from 17 countries from 1961 to 2000 confirmed the existence of at least two genotypes. Rubella genotype I (RGI) isolates, predominant in Europe, Japan, and the Western Hemisphere, segregated into discrete subgenotypes; international subgenotypes present in the 1960s and 1970s were replaced by geographically restricted subgenotypes after ∼1980. Recently, active subgenotypes include one in the United States and Latin America, one in China, and a third that apparently originated in Asia and spread to Europe and North America, starting in 1997, indicating the recent emergence of an international subgenotype. A virus that potentially arose as a recombinant between two RGI subgenotypes was discovered. Rubella genotype II (RGII) showed greater genetic diversity than did RGI and may actually consist of multiple genotypes. RGII viruses were limited to Asia and Europe; RGI viruses were also present in most of the countries where RGII viruses were isolated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1523-1530
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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