Yellow fever virus: Genetic and phenotypic diversity and implications for detection, prevention and therapy

David W C Beasley, Alexander J. McAuley, Dennis A. Bente

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations


Yellow fever virus (YFV) is the prototypical hemorrhagic fever virus, yet our understanding of its phenotypic diversity and any molecular basis for observed differences in disease severity and epidemiology is lacking, when compared to other arthropod-borne and haemorrhagic fever viruses. This is, in part, due to the availability of safe and effective vaccines resulting in basic YFV research taking a back seat to those viruses for which no effective vaccine occurs. However, regular outbreaks occur in endemic areas, and the spread of the virus to new, previously unaffected, areas is possible. Analysis of isolates from endemic areas reveals a strong geographic association for major genotypes, and recent epidemics have demonstrated the emergence of novel sequence variants. This review aims to outline the current understanding of YFV genetic and phenotypic diversity and its sources, as well as the available animal models for characterizing these differences in vivo. The consequences of genetic diversity for detection and diagnosis of yellow fever and development of new vaccines and therapeutics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-70
Number of pages23
JournalAntiviral research
StatePublished - Mar 2015



  • Animal model
  • Evolution
  • Genotype
  • Yellow fever virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology

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