Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a major cause of endemic outbreaks in Vietnam in recent years. In this work, six serotype A foot-and-mouth disease viruses (FMDV), collected from endemic outbreaks during January and February of 2009 in four different provinces in Vietnam, were genetically characterized for their complete genome sequences. Genetic analysis based on the complete viral genome sequence indicated that they were closely related to each other and shared 99.0-99.8% amino acid (aa) identity. Genetic and deduced aa analysis of the capsid coding gene VP1 showed that the six Vietnamese strains were all classified into the genotype IX from a total of 10 major genotypes worldwide, sharing 98.1-100% aa identity each other. They were most closely related to the type A strains recently isolated in Laos (A/LAO/36/2003, A/LAO/1/2006, A/LAO/6/2006, A/LAO/7/2006, and A/LAO/8/2006), Thailand (A/TAI/2/1997 and A/TAI/118/1987), and Malaysia (A/MAY/2/2002), sharing 88.3-95.5% nucleotide (nt) identities. In contrast, Vietnamese type A strains showed low nt identities with the two old type A FMDVs, isolated in 1960 in Thailand (a15thailand iso43) and in 1975 in the Philippines (aphilippines iso50), ranging from 77.3 to 80.9% nt identity. A multiple alignment based on the deduced amino acid sequences of the capsid VP1 coding gene of type A FMDV revealed three amino acid substitutions between Vietnamese strains and the strains of other Southeast Asian countries (Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines). Alanine was replaced by valine at residue 24, asparagine by arginine at residue 85, and serine by threonine at residue 196. Furthermore, type A FMDV strains recently isolated in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia all have one amino acid deletion at residue 140 of the capsid VP1 protein compared with the two old type A FMDV strains from Thailand and the Philippines as well as most other type A representatives worldwide. This article is the first to report on the comprehensive genetic characterization of type A FMDV circulating in Vietnam.
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