We sequenced the Capsid-pre Membrane (C/prM) and the Envelope-Nonstructural protein 1 (E/NS1) regions of 24 recent isolates of dengue-1 (DEN-1) from South America. This included 12 Argentinean and 11 Paraguayan DEN-1 strains isolated in 2000 plus a Paraguayan strain isolated in 1988. These sequences were compared with published sequences of DEN-1 isolated worldwide to determine the origin of these isolates. Pairwise comparisons of strains from Paraguay and Argentina revealed a nucleotide divergence of 0–5% in the E/NS1 region and 0–3% in the C/prM region. Our results showed that these viruses belong to the same genotype, but can be separated into two clades. Interestingly, both clades circulated simultaneously in the same geographic area during the 2000 outbreaks. Amino acid differences were found between both clades in the C/prM region at position 100 (Lys vs. Arg) and in the E/NS1 region at positions 722 (Ala vs. Thr). Although the geographic movement of DEN-1 virus can not be unequivocally traced from the genetic relationship determined here, our results suggest that the recent epidemics in Argentina and Paraguay were due to the re-emergence of a previously circulating strain, or to the virus circulating unnoticed, rather than to the introduction of a new genotype.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2002
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