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Molecular Characterization of Two Major Dengue Outbreaks in Costa Rica

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  • 1 Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales (CIET) (Research Center for Tropical Diseases), Faculty of Microbiology, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.
  • | 2 Molecular Diagnostics Unit, Hospital Mexico, Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, San José, Costa Rica.
  • | 3 Conservation Genetics, School of Biology, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.

Dengue virus (DENV) (Flavivirus, Flaviviridae) is a reemerging arthropod-borne virus with a worldwide circulation, transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Since the first detection of its main transmitting vector in 1992 and the invasion of DENV-1 in 1993, Costa Rica has faced dengue outbreaks yearly. In 2007 and 2013, Costa Rica experienced two of the largest outbreaks in terms of total and severe cases. To provide genetic information about the etiologic agents producing these outbreaks, we conducted phylogenetic analysis of viruses isolated from human samples. A total of 23 DENV-1 and DENV-2 sequences were characterized. These analyses signaled that DENV-1 genotype V and DENV-2 American/Asian genotype were circulating in those outbreaks. Our results suggest that the 2007 and 2013 outbreak viral strains of DENV-1 and DENV-2 originated from nearby countries and underwent in situ microevolution.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar, University of Costa Rica, Ciudad Universitaria Rodrigo Facio, San Pedro 1150-2060 San José, Costa Rica. E-mail: eugenia.corrales@ucr.ac.cr

Financial support: This work was supported by the University of Costa Rica Project VI-803-B2-285, FEES-CONARE VI-803-B4-656 and the Graduate Studies System (SEP) of the University of Costa Rica.

Authors' addresses: Claudio Soto-Garita and Eugenia Corrales-Aguilar, Virology-CIET (Research Center for Tropical Diseases), Faculty of Microbiology, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica, E-mails: claudioenrique.soto@ucr.ac.cr and eugenia.corrales@ucr.ac.cr. Teresita Somogyi, Virology-CIET (Research Center for Tropical Diseases), Faculty of Microbiology, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica, and Molecular Diagnostics Unit, Hospital Mexico, Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social, San José, Costa Rica, E-mail: tsomogyi@ccss.sa.cr. Amanda Vicente-Santos, Virology-CIET (Research Center for Tropical Diseases), Faculty of Microbiology, University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica, and Conservation Genetics, School of Biology, University of Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, E-mail: amandavic@gmail.com.

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