[Molecular evolution of dengue virus: a necessary field of research]

Germán Añez
Investigación Clínica 2007, 48 (3): 273-6
Dengue is a viral disease present in tropical developing countries where cause an important number of new cases annually. There are four serotypes (DENV-1 to 4), which can cause a clinical spectrum varying from a mild disease; dengue fever, to a potential life-threatening form; dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). The molecular mechanism to explain the developing of DHF remains uncertainly, but it has been related to previous immunity to a different serotype, host-depending factors (age, nutritional status, HLA type) and to viral genotypes. In this sense, have been described a number of genotypes among the serotypes, some of which has been associated with increased severity. In Venezuela, since 1989 have been reported cases due to all the viral serotypes, but there are few studies attempting to determine the genotype circulating in both epidemic and endemic situations. In all the reports, Venezuelan isolates are related to Asian genotypes, some of which have been associated with high risk to develop DHF. It is necessary more studies to analyze the whole viral genome from isolates collected in last years, in order to get information about how and why occur the viral extinction process in epidemics settings, its geographical origin and if certainly there are genotypes associated with DHF circulating in the country. Despite its importance to public health, it is necessary more research to understand deeply the dengue physiopathology. Genomics seems to be an important tool to achieve this objective and to help to develop required therapeutics and prophylactic strategies in a short time.

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