Molecular epidemiological study of dengue virus type 1 in Taiwan

Kao-Pin Hwang, Pei-Yu Chu, Yi-Ching Tung, Heng-Lin Wang, Yi-Yun Yueh, Ying-Chang Wu, Chuan Chin, Kuei-Hsiang Lin
Journal of Medical Virology 2003, 70 (3): 404-9
Taiwan has experienced several major outbreaks of dengue (DEN) virus since 1981. The predominant virus type involved has been dengue virus type one (DEN-1), which first appeared in 1987. To understand the molecular epidemiology of this virus, 15 strains of DEN-1 isolated during 1987-1991 and 1994-1995, including 11 epidemic strains, two sporadic strains, and two imported strains have been studied. Fragments of 490 nucleotides (nt) from the E/NS1 junction were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and the nt sequences were determined. Of the 490 nt of the E/NS1 junction, 240 nt (nt 2282-2521) were aligned and compared. Nucleotide substitutions were found at 54 positions among 15 isolates. Most nt changes were synonymous substitutions, and only three amino acid changes were found. A total of 61 strains isolated worldwide were analyzed by the Neighbor-joining method, and separated phylogenetically into three distinct genotypes, I-III. Genotype I comprised isolates from Japan and Hawaii collected in the 1940s. Genotype II included most strains isolated from Asia in 1977-1995. Genotype III consisted of isolates from three continents in 1964-1995: Asia, the Americas, and Africa. Genotype III was divided further into two subgenotypes, IIIA and IIIB. Most recent isolates from Taiwan, except for the sporadic strain isolated in 1995, were similar genetically and have been classified as Genotype II.

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