Detection and genetic relationship of dengue virus sequences in seventeen-year-old paraffin-embedded samples from Cuba.

C A SariolDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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J L PelegrinoDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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A MartinezDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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E ArteagaDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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G KouriDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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M G GuzmanDepartment of Virology, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Viral Diseases, Havana, Cuba.

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This study describes the use of the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to generate dengue 2 amplicons from paraffin-embedded autopsy tissues collected in Cuba 17 years ago. The presumptive diagnoses had been made only by clinical evolution without serologic confirmation. This study confirms once again that dengue 2 virus was directly associated with the fatal cases in children and illustrates the potential of the RT-PCR for retrospective diagnosis of dengue cases 17 years after death. A close similarity in the genomic sequences of the dengue 2 RNA detected in tissue samples from fatal cases and those dengue 2 Cuban strains that had been previously investigated confirms the appropriate genomic classification of the etiologic agent associated with the 1981 dengue hemorrhagic fever Cuban epidemic.

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