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FN1Authors' addresses: Yan Li, College of Animal Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang, People's Republic of China, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Zexiao Yang, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang, People's Republic of China, E-mail: email@example.com.
- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
- Source: The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Volume 96, Issue 3, Mar 2017, p. 727 - 734
Adaptive Diversification Between Yellow Fever Virus West African and South American Lineages: A Genome-Wide Study
Yellow fever virus (YFV) has emerged as the causative agent of a vector-borne disease with devastating mortality in the tropics of Africa and the Americas. YFV phylogenies indicate that the isolates collected from West Africa, East and Central Africa, and South America cluster into different lineages and the virus spread into the Americas from Africa. To determine the nature of genetic variation accompanying the intercontinental epidemic, we performed a genome-wide evolutionary study on the West African and South American lineages of YFV. Our results reveal that adaptive genetic diversification has occurred on viral nonstructural protein 5 (NS5), which is crucially required for viral genome replication, in the early epidemic phase of these currently circulating lineages. Furthermore, major amino acid changes relevant to the adaptive diversification generally cluster in different structural regions of NS5 in a lineage-specific manner. These results suggest that YFV has experienced adaptive diversification in the epidemic spread between the continents and shed insights into the genetic determinants of such diversification, which might be beneficial for understanding the emergence and re-emergence of yellow fever as an important global public health issue.