From discovery to spread: The evolution and phylogeny of Getah virus

Yuan Yuan Li, Hong Liu, Shi Hong Fu, Xiao Long Li, Xiao Fang Guo, Ming Hua Li, Yun Feng, Wei Xin Chen, Li Hua Wang, Wen Wen Lei, Xiao Yan Gao, Zhi Lv, Ying He, Huan Yu Wang, Hong Ning Zhou, Gui Qin Wang, Guo Dong Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Getah virus (GETV) was first isolated in Malaysia in 1955. Since then, epidemics in horses and pigs caused by GETV have resulted in huge economic losses. At present, GETV has spread across Eurasia and Southeast Asia, including mainland China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Russia. Data show that the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) of GETV existed about 145 years ago (95% HPD: 75–244) and gradually evolved into four distinct evolutionary populations: Groups I–IV. The MRCA of GETVs in Group III, which includes all GETVs isolated from mosquitoes, pigs, horses, and other animals since the 1960s (from latitude 19°N to 60°N), existed about 51 years ago (95% HPD: 51–72). Group III is responsible for most viral epidemics among domestic animals. An analysis of the GETV E2 protein sequence and structure revealed seven common amino acid mutation sites. These sites are responsible for the structural and electrostatic differences detected between widespread Group III isolates and the prototype strain MM2021. These differences may account for the recent geographical radiation of the virus. Considering the economic significance of GETV infection in pigs and horses, we recommend the implementation of strict viral screening and monitoring programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolution
  • Getah virus
  • Origin
  • Phylogenetic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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