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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 23, 1996; 93(2): 548–553.

Population dynamics of flaviviruses revealed by molecular phylogenies.


The phylogeny of 123 complete envelope gene sequences was reconstructed in order to understand the evolution of tick- and mosquito-borne flaviviruses. An analysis of phylogenetic tree structure reveals a continual and asymmetric branching process in the tick-borne flaviviruses, compared with an explosive radiation in the last 200 years in viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. The distinction between these two viral groups probably reflects differences in modes of dispersal, propagation, and changes in the size of host populations. The most serious implication of this work is that growing human populations are being exposed to an expanding range of increasingly diverse viral strains.

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