Peter Mertens

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Recently, a classification system was proposed for rotaviruses in which all the 11 genomic RNA segments are used (Matthijnssens et al. in J Virol 82:3204–3219, 2008). Based on nucleotide identity cut-off percentages, different genotypes were defined for each genome segment. A nomenclature for the comparison of complete rotavirus genomes was considered in(More)
In April 2008, a nucleotide-sequence-based, complete genome classification system was developed for group A rotaviruses (RVs). This system assigns a specific genotype to each of the 11 genome segments of a particular RV strain according to established nucleotide percent cutoff values. Using this approach, the genome of individual RV strains are given the(More)
Bluetongue, a devastating disease of ruminants, has historically made only brief, sporadic incursions into the fringes of Europe. However, since 1998, six strains of bluetongue virus have spread across 12 countries and 800 km further north in Europe than has previously been reported. We suggest that this spread has been driven by recent changes in European(More)
The structure of the core particle of bluetongue virus has been determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution approaching 3.5 A. This transcriptionally active compartment, 700 A in diameter, represents the largest molecular structure determined in such detail. The atomic structure indicates how approximately 1,000 protein components self-assemble,(More)
An orbivirus identified as St Croix River virus (SCRV) was isolated from cells of Ixodes scapularis ticks. Electron microscopy showed particles with typical orbivirus morphology. The SCRV genome was sequenced completely and compared to previously characterized orbivirus genomes. Significant identity scores (21-38%) were detected between proteins encoded by(More)
The outer capsid protein VP2 of Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a target for the protective immune response generated by the mammalian host. VP2 contains the majority of epitopes that are recognized by neutralizing antibodies and is therefore also the primary determinant of BTV serotype. Full-length cDNA copies of genome segment 2 (Seg-2, which encodes VP2) from(More)
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus causes an acute vesicular disease of domesticated and wild ruminants and pigs. Identifying sources of FMD outbreaks is often confounded by incomplete epidemiological evidence and the numerous routes by which virus can spread (movements of infected animals or their products, contaminated persons, objects, and aerosols).(More)
Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the causative agent of bluetongue, a disease of ruminant livestock that occurs almost worldwide between latitudes 3 degrees S and 5 degrees N. There are 24 serotypes of BTV (currently identified by serum neutralization assays). Since 1998, eight strains of six BTV serotypes (1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 16) have invaded Europe. The most(More)
Bluetongue (BT) virus, an orbivirus of the Reoviridae family encompassing 24 known serotypes, is transmitted to ruminants via certain species of biting midges (Culicoides spp.) and causes thrombo-hemorrhagic fevers mainly in sheep. During the 20th century, BTV was endemic in sub-tropical regions but in the last ten years, new strains of BTV (serotypes 1, 2,(More)