To establish the phylogeographic relationships in rabies viruses in Brazil, we studied a dataset retrieved from GenBank consisting of 71 genetic sequences from the coding region of the N gene of rabies viruses isolated in dogs over a period of 22 years. The Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method available in the BEAST package was used with the GTR+G+Г4 evolutionary model in conjunction with the relaxed uncorrelated lognormal molecular clock model and an exponential growth tree prior. A discrete phylogeographic diffusion model was also analyzed using a standard continuous-time Markov chain viewed with Google Earth to provide a spatial projection of the diffusion of genetic lineages based on their phylogeographic relationships. The topology of the time and substitution phylogenetic trees agreed with the spatial dispersal of the lineages. It was possible to infer that the lineages in the southeastern region of Brazil in the 1970s are the closest to the most common recent ancestor and that all the lineages in the midwestern, northern and northeastern regions are more distant. The importance of this study lies in the fact that it can help with the planning of rabies control measures, as dogs continue to be the main reservoir of rabies virus throughout the world.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2011
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