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EFFICIENCY OF DENGUE SEROTYPE 2 VIRUS STRAINS TO INFECT AND DISSEMINATE IN AEDES AEGYPTI

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  • 1 Department of Virology and Immunology, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Texas

Dengue serotype 2 (DEN-2) viruses with the potential to cause dengue hemorrhagic fever have been shown to belong to the Southeast (SE) Asian genotype. These viruses appear to be rapidly displacing the American genotype of DEN-2 in the Western Hemisphere. To determine whether distinct genotypes of DEN-2 virus are better adapted to mosquito transmission, we classified 15 viral strains of DEN-2 phylogenetically and compared their ability to infect and disseminate in different populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Envelope gene nucleotide sequence analysis confirmed that six strains belonged to the American genotype and nine strains were of the SE Asian genotype. The overall rate of disseminated infection in mosquitoes from Texas was 27% for the SE Asian genotype versus 9% for the American genotype. This pattern of infection was similar in another population of mosquitoes sampled from southern Mexico (30% versus 13%). Together, these findings suggest that Ae. aegypti tends to be more susceptible to infection by DEN-2 viruses of the SE Asian genotype than to those of the American genotype, and this may have epidemiologic implications.

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