The sequences of four complete genes were analysed in order to determine the relatedness of koi herpesvirus (KHV) to three fish viruses in the family Herpesviridae: carp pox herpesvirus (Cyprinid herpesvirus 1, CyHV-1), haematopoietic necrosis herpesvirus of goldfish (Cyprinid herpesvirus 2, CyHV-2) and channel catfish virus (Ictalurid herpesvirus 1, IcHV-1). The genes were predicted to encode a helicase, an intercapsomeric triplex protein, the DNA polymerase and the major capsid protein. The results showed that KHV is related closely to CyHV-1 and CyHV-2, and that the three cyprinid viruses are related, albeit more distantly, to IcHV-1. Twelve KHV isolates from four diverse geographical areas yielded identical sequences for a region of the DNA polymerase gene. These findings, with previously published morphological and biological data, indicate that KHV should join the group of related lower-vertebrate viruses in the family Herpesviridae under the formal designation Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3).
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