Several species of alphaviruses have been previously described in the Americas, some of which are associated with encephalitis and others are associated with arthralgia. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) are endemic to Venezuela, with the former being responsible for major outbreaks of severe and often fatal disease in animals and humans. The aim of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity of Venezuelan alphaviruses isolated during two decades (1973-1999) of surveillance in northern Venezuela. Phylogenetic analysis indicated the circulation of a VEEV subtype IAB strain 8 years after the last reported outbreak. Thirteen strains within two subclades of South American lineage III of EEEV were also found in Venezuela. Considerable genetic variability was observed among Venezuelan Una virus strains, which were widely distributed among the clades. The first Venezuelan Mayaro sequence was also characterized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases