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J Virol. 2007 Sep;81(17):9591-5. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Evolutionary processes among sylvatic dengue type 2 viruses.

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Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0609, USA.


Sylvatic dengue viruses (DENV) are transmitted in an enzootic cycle between nonhuman primates and arboreal Aedes mosquitoes in Southeast Asia and West Africa. Although previous analyses have revealed the evolutionary processes among endemic (human) DENV, little is known about viral evolution in the sylvatic cycle. Through an analysis of 14 complete coding regions of sylvatic Dengue type 2 virus sampled over a 33-year period, we show that both the rate of evolutionary change and the pattern of natural selection are similar among endemic and sylvatic DENV, although the latter have a uniquely high frequency of positive selection in the NS4B protein gene. Our findings support a recent cross-species transmission event and suggest the possibility of future DENV reemergence from the sylvatic cycle.

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