Emergence of an independent lineage of dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1) and its co-circulation with predominant DENV-3 during the 2006 dengue fever outbreak in Delhi

Himani Kukreti, Artee Chaudhary, R S Rautela, Ranjana Anand, Veena Mittal, Mala Chhabra, D Bhattacharya, Shiv Lal, Arvind Rai
International Journal of Infectious Diseases: IJID 2008, 12 (5): 542-9

OBJECTIVES: The sudden emergence of dengue virus type 1 (DENV-1) and its co-circulation with predominant DENV-3 was the hallmark of the 2006 dengue fever outbreak in Delhi. Viruses that circulated between 1996 and 2005 in the City have been well characterized, but the genomic diversity in 2006 strains is not known. The present study was undertaken to reveal the emerging molecular genotype(s) and evolutionary trend of the viruses responsible for the dengue fever outbreak in Delhi during 2006.

STUDY DESIGN: The CprM gene junction of the DENV isolates from the 2006 Delhi dengue fever outbreak were subjected to nucleotide sequencing. Comparative phylogenetic analysis was done using DENV-1 and DENV-3 sequences retrieved from the global database.

RESULTS: Multiple sequence alignment revealed only substitutions, with no insertions or deletions. A dendrogram indicated emergence of a distinct lineage of DENV-1 (having similarity with the Comoros/Singapore 1993 and Delhi 1982 strains, but quite different from the Delhi 2005 lineage) and microevolution of the pre-circulating DENV-3. These findings point towards the circulation of two independent lineages of DENV-1 in Delhi during 2005 and 2006.

CONCLUSIONS: It is feared that the introduction of an independent lineage of the outbreak-associated strain of DENV-1 and its co-circulation with the deeply-rooted strain of DENV-3 in Delhi may result in yet another, possibly more severe outbreak in the near future.

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