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Low diversity of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus, Saudi Arabia, 1994-1999.

Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus (genus Flavivirus, AHFV) was recently identified as the agent of a viral hemorrhagic fever in Saudi Arabia and characterized serologically and genetically as a variant genotype of Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV). Since viral diagnosis and vaccine development may be hindered by genetic diversity, this study was intended to address AHFV genetic heterogeneity. Eleven strains isolated from hospitalized patients from 1994 to 1999 in Saudi Arabia were sequenced in the envelope, NS3, and NS5 genes. Homologous sequences were compared and used to look for patterns reflecting specific evolution associated with spatiality, temporality, infection pathway, and disease prognosis. Genetic analyses showed low diversity, which suggests a slow microevolution. Evaluation of divergence times showed that AHFV and KFDV ancestral lineage diverged 66-177 years ago, and the diversity observed within the studied AHFV strains reflected a 4- to 72-year period of evolution.[1]

References

  1. Low diversity of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus, Saudi Arabia, 1994-1999. Charrel, R.N., Zaki, A.M., Fakeeh, M., Yousef, A.I., de Chesse, R., Attoui, H., de Lamballerie, X. Emerging Infect. Dis. (2005) [Pubmed]
 
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