Caister Academic Press

Dengue Virus Emergence from its Sylvatic Cycle

Nikos Vasilakis, Kathryn A. Hanley, and Scott C. Weaver
from: Frontiers in Dengue Virus Research (Edited by: Kathryn A. Hanley and Scott C. Weaver). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


Dengue viruses (DENV) are members of the genus Flavivirus in the family Flaviviridae and include four antigenically distinct serotypes (DENV-1-4). In the last half-century, DENV have emerged as the most important arboviral pathogens in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, putting a third of the human population worldwide at risk of infection. The transmission of DENV includes a sylvatic, enzootic cycle, most likely between non-human primates and arboreal Aedes mosquitoes, and an urban, endemic/epidemic cycle (henceforth referred to as endemic) between peridomestic Aedes mosquitoes and human reservoir hosts. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the four currently circulating urban DENV serotypes emerged independently from ancestral sylvatic progenitors in the forests of Southeast Asia after the establishment of urban populations large enough to support continuous inter-human transmission. In this chapter we examine the sylvatic origins of DENV, including ecology, adaptation for urban transmission, and molecular epidemiology, as well as the forces that have shaped the molecular evolution of extant sylvatic DENV strains. The potential for sylvatic DENV to re-emerge into the human transmission cycle in the face of immunity to current urban strains or vaccine candidates currently under development is also discussed. The lines of information addressed in this chapter will provide an overview of how sylvatic DENV population dynamics and transmission influence pathogenesis and how study of sylvatic DENV will improve our ability to understand and predict DENV emergence read more ...
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