October 03, 2012
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Dengue virus dissemination in Puerto Rico different from previous serotypes

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Recent data from genome sequencing of dengue virus serotype 3 isolates in Puerto Rico have shown that the dissemination of the virus is different from that of other serotypes previously found on the island.

According to background information in the article, dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) emerged in 1998 in Puerto Rico, when two other dengue virus serotypes dominated an epidemic. DENV-3 became the predominant serotype, but its incidence declined to undetectable levels after 2008.

Researchers from the dengue branch of the division of vector-borne infectious diseases at the CDC studied 92 DENV-3 isolates that were collected between 1998 and 2007. They performed RNA extraction, amplification and genome sequencing on the samples.

They found eight different lineages of the virus. Two of the lineages were related to the introduction of foreign viruses. Two of the endemic lineages were present throughout the entire study period. For three of the endemic lineages, the researchers identified temporal-geographical clustering. Further studies showed that transmission of one dengue virus serotype was correlated with the absence of the other serotype.

“This type of virus emergence, expansion and subsequent collapse represents a concept that must be further defined in population dynamics,” the researchers wrote. “Our study confirms the utility of genomic sequencing in large-scale surveillance and provides a novel approach to determine molecular evolution and population dynamics.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.