Evolutionary dynamics of West Nile virus in Georgia, 2001–2011
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- Phillips, J.E., Stallknecht, D.E., Perkins, T.A. et al. Virus Genes (2014) 49: 132. doi:10.1007/s11262-014-1061-0
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From 1999–2001, West Nile virus (WNV) spread throughout the eastern United States (US) and was first detected in Georgia in 2001. To date, the virus has been detected in over 2,500 dead wild bird and mosquito samples from across Georgia. We sequenced the premembrane (preM) and envelope gene (E) (2004 bp) from 111 isolates collected from 2001 to 2011. To assess viral gene flow from other geographic regions in the US, we combined our data with WNV sequences available at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and performed phylogenetic analysis. We found evidence that WNV isolates detected in Chatham County Georgia most likely originated from the Northeastern United States. These results highlight the growing importance of adequate genetic surveillance for monitoring and controlling viruses of public health concern.