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Virology. 2012 Feb 5;423(1):58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.11.018. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Genetic and phenotypic characterization of sylvatic dengue virus type 4 strains.

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Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0610, USA.


Four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV 1-4) currently circulate between humans and domestic/peridomestic Aedes mosquitoes, resulting in 100 million infections per year. All four serotypes emerged, independently, from sylvatic progenitors transmitted among non-human primates by arboreal Aedes mosquitoes. This study investigated the genetic and phenotypic changes associated with emergence of human DENV-4 from its sylvatic ancestors. Analysis of complete genomes of 3 sylvatic and 4 human strains revealed high conservation of both the 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions but considerable divergence within the open reading frame. Additionally, the two ecotypes did not differ significantly in replication dynamics in cultured human liver (Huh-7), monkey kidney (Vero) or mosquito (C6/36) cells, although significant inter-strain variation within ecotypes was detected. These findings are in partial agreement with previous studies of DENV-2, where human strains produced a larger number of progeny than sylvatic strains in human liver cells but not in monkey or mosquito cells.

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