[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. The spread of both mosquito vectors and viruses has led to the resurgence of epidemic dengue fever (a self-limited flu-like syndrome) and the emergence of dengue hemorrhagic fever (severe dengue with bleeding abnormalities) in urban centers of the tropics. There are no animal or laboratory models of dengue disease; indirect evidence suggests that dengue viruses differ in virulence, including their pathogenicities for humans and epidemic potential. We developed two assay systems (using human dendritic cells and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes) for measuring differences in virus replication that correlate with the potential to cause hemorrhagic dengue and increased virus transmission. Infection and growth experiments showed that dengue serotype 2 viruses causing dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemics (Southeast Asian genotype) can outcompete viruses that cause dengue fever only (American genotype). This fact implies that Southeast Asian genotype viruses will continue to displace other viruses, causing more hemorrhagic dengue epidemics.
Journal of Virology 02/2005; 79(2):853-9. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 06/2003; 68(5):539-44. · 2.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Outbreaks of dengue hemorrhagic fever have coincided with the introduction of the Southeast (SE) Asian genotype of dengue type 2 virus in the Western Hemisphere. This introduced genotype appears to be rapidly displacing the indigenous, American genotype of dengue 2 virus throughout the region. These field observations raise the possibility that the SE Asian genotype of dengue 2 is better adapted for vector transmission than its American counterpart. To evaluate this hypothesis, we compared the ability of viral strains of the SE Asian and American genotypes to infect, replicate, and disseminate within vector mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti). Viral strains of the SE Asian genotype tended to infect and disseminate more efficiently in mosquitoes than did variants of the American genotype. These differences, however, were observed solely in field-derived mosquitoes, whereas viral infection rates were virtually identical in the laboratory-adapted Rockefeller colony of Ae. aegypti. Our findings could provide a physiological basis for the contrasting patterns of dengue virus genotype transmission and spread. Such an understanding of functional differences between viral strains and genotypes may ultimately improve surveillance and intervention strategies.