Genetic Variation among Temporally and Geographically Distinct West Nile Virus Isolates, United States, 2001, 2002

C. Todd Davis, David W.C. Beasley, Hilda Guzman, Pushker Raj, Mary D'Anton, Robert J. Novak, Thomas R. Unnasch, Robert B. Tesh, Alan D.T. Barrett

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Analysis of partial nucleotide sequences of 22 West Nile virus (WNV) isolates collected during the summer and fall of 2001 and 2002 indicated genetic variation among strains circulating in geographically distinct regions of the United States and continued divergence from isolates collected in the northeastern United States during 1999 and 2000. Sequence analysis of a 2,004-nucleotide region showed that 14 isolates shared two nucleotide mutations and one amino acid substitution when they were compared with the prototype WN-NY99 strain, with 10 of these isolates sharing an additional nucleotide mutation. In comparison, isolates collected from coastal regions of southeast Texas shared the following differences from WN-NY99: five nucleotide mutations and one amino acid substitution. The maximum nucleotide divergence of the 22 isolates from WN-NY99 was 0.35% (mean = 0.18%). These results show the geographic clustering of genetically similar WNV isolates and the possible emergence of a dominant variant circulating across much of the United States during 2002.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1429
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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