JOURNAL ARTICLE

Multiple recombinants in two dengue virus, serotype-2 isolates from patients from Oaxaca, Mexico

Gerardo Perez-Ramirez, Alvaro Diaz-Badillo, Minerva Camacho-Nuez, Alejandro Cisneros, Maria de Lourdes Munoz
BMC Microbiology 2009, 9: 260
20003526

BACKGROUND: Dengue (DEN) is a serious cause of mortality and morbidity in the world including Mexico, where the infection is endemic. One of the states with the highest rate of dengue cases is Oaxaca. The cause of DEN is a positive-sense RNA virus, the dengue virus (DENV) that evolves rapidly increasing its variability due to the absence of a repair mechanism that leads to approximately one mutational event per genome replication; which results in enhancement of viral adaptation, including the escape from host immune responses. Additionally, recombination may play a role in driving the evolution of DENV, which may potentially affect virulence and cause host tropism changes. Recombination in DENV has not been described in Mexican strains, neither has been described the relevance in virus evolution in an endemic state such as Oaxaca where the four serotypes of DENV are circulating.

RESULTS: To study whether there are isolates from Oaxaca having recombination, we obtained the sequence of 6 different isolates of DENV-2 Asian/American genotype from the outbreak 2005-6, one clone of the C(91)-prM-E-NS1(2400) structural genes, and 10 clones of the E gene from the isolate MEX_OAX_1656_05. Evidence of recombination was found by using different methods along with two softwares: RDP3 and GARD. The Oaxaca MEX_OAX_1656_05 and MEX_OAX_1038_05 isolates sequenced in this study were recombinant viruses that incorporate the genome sequence from the Cosmopolitan genotype. Furthermore, the clone of the E gene namely MEX_OAX_165607_05 from this study was also recombinant, incorporating genome sequence from the American genotype.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of recombination in DENV-2 in Mexico. Given such a recombinant activity new genomic combinations were produced, this could play a significant role in the DENV evolution and must be considered as a potentially important mechanism generating genetic variation in this virus with serious implications for the vaccines and drugs formulation as occurs for other viruses like poliovirus, influenza and HIV.

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