Volume 93, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Several species of alphaviruses have been previously described in the Americas, some of which are associated with encephalitis and others are associated with arthralgia. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) are endemic to Venezuela, with the former being responsible for major outbreaks of severe and often fatal disease in animals and humans. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity of Venezuelan alphaviruses isolated during two decades (1973–1999) of surveillance in northern Venezuela. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the circulation of a VEEV subtype IAB strain 8 years after the last reported outbreak. Thirteen strains within two subclades of South American lineage III of EEEV were also found in Venezuela. Considerable genetic variability was observed among Venezuelan Una virus strains, which were widely distributed among the clades. The first Venezuelan Mayaro sequence was also characterized.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Weaver SC, Winegar R, Manger ID, Forrester NL, , 2012. Alphaviruses: population genetics and determinants of emergence. Antiviral Res 94: 242257.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Arrigo NC, Adams AP, Weaver SC, , 2010. Evolutionary patterns of eastern equine encephalitis virus in North versus South America suggest ecological differences and taxonomic revision. J Virol 84: 10141025.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. Salas RA, Garcia CZ, Liria J, Barrera R, Navarro JC, Medina G, Vasquez C, Fernandez Z, Weaver SC, , 2001. Ecological studies of enzootic Venezuelan equine encephalitis in northcentral Venezuela. Am J Trop Med Hyg 64: 8492. [Google Scholar]
  4. Walder R, Suarez OM, Calisher CH, , 1984. Arbovirus studies in the Guajira region of Venezuela: activities of eastern equine encephalitis and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses during an interepizootic period. Am J Trop Med Hyg 33: 699707. [Google Scholar]
  5. Moncayo AC, Medina G, Kalvatchev Z, Brault A, Barrera R, Boshell J, Ferro C, Freier J, Navarro JC, Salas R, Siger J, Vasquez C, Walder R, Weaver S, , 2001. Genetic diversity and relationships among Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus field isolates from Colombia and Venezuela. Am J Trop Med Hyg 65: 738746. [Google Scholar]
  6. Powers A, Brault A, Shirako Y, Strauss E, Kang W, Strauss J, Weaver S, , 2001. Evolutionary relationships and systematic of the alphaviruses. J Virol 75: 1011810131.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  7. Weaver SC, Pfeffer M, Marriott K, Kang W, Kinney RM, , 1999. Genetic evidence for the origins of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus subtype IAB outbreaks. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60: 441448. [Google Scholar]
  8. Kinney RM, Trent DW, France JK, , 1983. Comparative immunological and biochemical analyses of viruses in the Venezuelan equine encephalitis complex. J Gen Virol 64: 135147.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Sherer WF, Anderson K, Pancake BA, Dickerman RW, Ordoñez JV, , 1976. Search for epizootic-like Venezuelan encephalitis virus enzootic habitats in Guatemala during 1969–1971. Am J Epidemiol 103: 576588.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Navarro JC, Medina G, Vasquez C, Coffey L, Wang E, Suárez A, Biord H, Salas M, Weaver S, , 2005. Postepizootic persistence of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Venezuela. Emerg Infect Dis 11: 19071915.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  11. Powers A, Aguilar P, Chandler L, Brault A, Meakins T, Wattss D, Wattss D, Russel K, Olson J, Vasconcelos P, Travassos A, Weaver S, Tesh R, , 2006. Genetic relationships among Mayaro and UNA virus suggest distinct patterns of transmission. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75: 461469. [Google Scholar]
  12. Forshey BM, Guevara C, Laguna-Torres VA, Cespedes M, Vargas J, Gianella A, Vallejo E, Madrid C, Aguayo N, Gotuzzo E, Suarez V, Morales AM, Beingolea L, Reyes N, Perez J, Negrete M, Rocha C, Morrison AC, Russell KL, Blair PJ, Olson JG, Kochel TJ, NMRCD Febrile Surveillance Working Group; , 2010. Arboviral etiologies of acute febrile illnesses in western South America, 2000–2007. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4: e787.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Pinheiro F, LeDuch J, Monath TP, , 1988. Mayaro virus disease. , ed. The Arbovirus. Epidemiology and Ecology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 137150. [Google Scholar]
  14. Tesh RB, Watts DM, Russell KL, Damodaran C, Calampa C, Cabezas C, Ramirez G, Vasquez B, Hayes C, Rosi C, Powers A, Hice C, Chandler L, Cropp B, Karabatsos N, Roehring J, Gubler D, , 1999. Mayaro virus disease: an emerging mosquito-borne zoonosis in tropical South America. Clin Infect Dis 28: 6773.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  15. Pinheiro F, Freitas R, Travassos J, Travassos A, Gabbay Y, Mello W, LeDuc J, , 2004. An outbreak of MAYARO virus disease in Belterra, Brazil. Am J Trop Med Hyg 30: 674681. [Google Scholar]
  16. Torres J, Russell K, Vasquez C, Barrera R, Tesh R, Salas R, Watts D, , 2004. Family cluster of Mayaro fever, Venezuela. Emerg Infect Dis 10: 13041306.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  17. Walder R, Suarez OM, Calisher CH, , 1984. Arbovirus studies in southwestern Venezuela during 1973–1981. II. Isolations and further studies of Venezuelan and eastern equine encephalitis, Una, Itaqui, and Moju viruses. Am J Trop Med Hyg 33: 483491. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 29 Aug 2014
  • Accepted : 15 Dec 2014
  • Published online : 08 Jul 2015

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error