, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 60-66
Date: 09 Dec 2009

Comparative analysis of American Dengue virus type 1 full-genome sequences

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Dengue virus (DENV; Genus Flavivirus, Family Flaviviridae) has been circulating in Brazil since at least the mid-1980s and continues to be responsible for sporadic cases of Dengue fever and Dengue hemorrhagic fever throughout this country. Here, we describe the full genomes of two new Brazilian DENV-serotype 1 (DENV-1) variants and analyze these together with all other available American DENV-1 full-genome sequences. Besides confirming the existence of various country-specific DENV-1 founder effects that have produced a high degree of geographical structure in the American DENV-1 population, we also identify that one of the new viruses is one of only three detectable intra-American DENV-1 recombinants. Although such obvious evidence of genetic exchange among epidemiologically unlinked Latin American DENV-1 sequences is relatively rare, we find that at the population-scale there exists substantial evidence of pervasive recombination that most likely occurs between viruses that are so genetically similar that it is not possible to reliably distinguish and characterize individual recombination events.