Sequence analyses of 2012 West Nile virus isolates from Texas fail to associate viral genetic factors with outbreak magnitude

Nisha K. Duggal, Mary D'Anton, Jeannie Xiang, Robyn Seiferth, Joanne Day, Roger Nasci, Aaron Brault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2012, Texas experienced the largest outbreak of human West Nile encephalitis (WNE) since the introduction of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2002. Despite the large number of WNV infections, data indicated the rate of reported WNE among human cases was no higher than in previous years. To determine whether the increase in WNV human cases could have been caused by viral genetic changes, the complete genomes of 17 isolates made from mosquito pools in Dallas and Montgomery Counties in 2012 were sequenced. The 2012 Texas isolates were found to be composed of two distinct clades, both circulating in Dallas and Montgomery Counties despite a 5-fold higher disease incidence in the former. Although minor genetic differences existed between Dallas and Montgomery WNV populations, there was weak support for population subdivision or adaptive changes. On the basis of these data, alternative explanations for increased WNV disease incidence in 2012 are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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