The Asian/American (AS/AM) genotype of dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) has been evolving in the Americas over the last 30 years, leading to several waves of dengue epidemics and to the emergence of different viral lineages in the region. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal dissemination pattern of the DENV-2 lineages at a regional level. We applied phylogenetic and phylogeographic analytical methods to a comprehensive data set of 582 DENV-2 E gene sequences of the AS/AM genotype isolated from 29 different American countries over a period of 30 years (1983 to 2012). Our study reveals that genetic diversity of DENV-2 AS/AM genotype circulating in the Americas mainly resulted from one single founder event and can be organized in at least four major lineages (I to IV), which emerged in the Caribbean region at the early 1980s and then spread and die out with different dynamics. Lineages I and II dominate the epidemics in the Caribbean region during the 1980s and early 1990 s, lineage III becomes the prevalent DENV-2 one in the Caribbean and South America during the 1990 s, whereas lineage IV dominates the epidemics in South and Central America during the 2000s. Suriname and Guyana seem to represent important entry points for DENV-2 from the Lesser Antilles to South America, whereas Venezuela, Brazil and Nicaragua were pointed as the main secondary hubs of dissemination to other mainland countries. Our study also indicates that DENV-2 AS/AM genotype was disseminated within South America following two main routes. The first route hits Venezuela and the western side of the Andes, while the second route mainly hits Brazil and the eastern side of the Andes. The phenomenon of DENV-2 lineage replacement across successive epidemic outbreaks was a common characteristic in all American countries, although the timing of lineage replacements greatly vary across locations.
Mir, D., Romero, H., Fagundes De Carvalho, L. M., & Bello, G. (2014). Spatiotemporal dynamics of DENV-2 Asian-American genotype lineages in the Americas. PLoS ONE, 9(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098519