Phylogenetic relationships and differential selection pressures among genotypes of dengue-2 virus

S. Susanna Twiddy, Jeremy J. Farrar, Nguyen Vinh Chau, Bridget Wills, Ernest A. Gould, Tamara Gritsun, Graham Lloyd, Edward C. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

215 Citations (Scopus)


To elucidate the processes controlling the emergence and spread of dengue-2 virus (DEN-2) we examined the evolution of viral isolates sampled from both local (Viet Nam) and global populations. Our phylogenetic analysis, incorporating envelope (E) glycoprotein sequences from 147 isolates of DEN-2, provided a more complete picture of viral diversity, with a newly defined "Cosmopolitan" genotype having a near global distribution and two other genotypes restricted to Asia. By analyzing rates of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution we determined that genotypes have experienced different selection pressures, with some evidence of positive selection in the Cosmopolitan genotype and one of the two Asian genotypes, but that the transition from sylvatic to human transmission was not accompanied by adaptive evolution of the E gene. Although there was no association between selection pressures acting on the E gene and proposed virulence differences among genotypes, some putatively selected amino acid sites have previously been implicated in changing viral pathogenicity, most notably E-390, and may also affect transmittability. These findings have implications for the future spread of DEN-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-72
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Adaptation
  • Dengue
  • Emerging viruses
  • Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Positive selection


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