Dengue is the most common ailment and is currently considered as the most important arthropod-borne viral disease in the world1. Dengue virus (DENV) can cause dengue fever (DF), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) with circulatory failure2. Stagnant water in drainage holes, indoor larvae and nearby construction sites are habitats of this deadly mosquito3.
DENV enveloped genome consists of a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA molecule roughly 10.7 kb in size. Dengue has four serotypes and designated DEN/1, 2, 3 and 4, that are different based on 6% sequence divergence within a 240 nucleotide region of the DENV-E/NS1 junction4. However, it is still unknown that these DENV serotypes and genotypes are interlinked with causing more severe dengue or not5. The occurrence of DENV infection is usually high in Asian nations6. Saudi Ministry of Health (SMOH) reported 3526 dengue cases in Saudi Arabia in 2010, including 2244 cases in Jeddah.
The E/NS1 gene junction is being investigated extensively, for DENV comparative sequence analyses due to its uniform rate of random mutation with minimal selective advantages7. A research was conducted to determine the molecular characterization of the most prevalent DENV-E/NS1 genotype circulating in Jeddah province. Main focus of study was to explore the DENV-E/NS1 junction sequences on nucleotide and amino acid levels circulating in Saudi Arabia. Evolutionary and epidemiologic relationships between different isolates from many countries and strains were compared to isolated samples from Jeddah to find particular dengue strains; either endogenous or new.
Phylogenetic analysis showed the dominance of dengue virus2 genotype; among dengue virus samples; collected from Jeddah province. Dengue virus 2 current isolates were seemed to be more closely interlinked with various strains isolated from Sri-Lanka, Australia and Singapore. Moreover, sequences analysis of amino acids confirmed substitution of 8 amino acid residue (Ser729Gua, Ser729Arg, Val762Gau, Val780phe, Val781Leu, Val781Ala, Glu858Asp and Gln873His) among the tested isolates. Interestingly, one unique amino acid residue Ala741Val was verified in the 10 present isolates compared to the reference sequence isolated from Jeddah previously which confirmed its endogenously prevalence in Jeddah.
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