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Dengue in China: Comprehensive Phylogenetic Evaluation Reveals Evidence of Endemicity and Complex Genetic Diversity

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  • Department of Pathology, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas; Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Microbes and Functional Genomics, Jiangsu Engineering and Technology Research Center for Microbiology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Jiangsu, China

Despite the increasing threat of dengue outbreaks in China, it is still considered as an imported disease and its introduction and/or circulation patterns remain obscure. On the basis of the most extensive phylogenetic analysis to date, we showed highly complex genetic diversity of dengue viruses (DENVs) in south China with up to 20 different clades/lineages from multiple serotypes co-circulating in the same year. Despite that most of these clades/lineages were resulted from imported cases, evidence of local persistence of DENV serotype 1 (DENV-1) was observed, indicating its potential endemicity in Guangdong province. This study, therefore, provided an overview of DENV genetic diversity and evolutionary dynamics in China, which will be useful for developing policies to prevent and control future dengue outbreaks in China.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Rubing Chen, Department of Pathology, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, University of Texas Medical Branch, 4.138 Keiller Building, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555-0609. E-mail: ruchen@utmb.edu

Financial support: This work is supported by the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Guan-Zhu Han is supported by the Priority Academic Program Development (PAPD) of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

Authors' addresses: Rubing Chen, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, E-mail: ruchen@utmb.edu. Guan-Zhu Han Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China, E-mail: guanzhu@njnu.edu.cn.

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