To explore a possible role for viral genes as determinants of virulence, portions of the UL144 tumor necrosis factor-like receptor gene and the UL55 envelope glycoprotein B gene from 42 patients with congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection or other diseases were sequenced. Of the 42 patients, 16 (38%) had UL144 group 1 [group 1A, 15 of 16 (94%); group 1B, 1 of 16 (6%); group 1C, 0 of 16 (0%)], 5 patients (12%) had UL144 group 2, and 21 patients (50%) had UL144 group 3. Although group 1C was not found in Japan strains (0%), it was found in USA strains (22%). Other HCMV polymorphisms should be further evaluated for their potential relevance to neonatal infection, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated HCMV diseases.

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