Computational Analysis Shows How Dengue Virus Evolved in India

A multi-institutional study on dengue fever led by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) shows how the virus causing the disease has evolved dramatically over the last few decades in the Indian subcontinent. Cases of dengue--a mosquito-borne viral disease--have steadily increased in the last 50 years, predominantly in the South-East Asian counties. And yet, there are no approved vaccines against dengue in India, although some vaccines have been developed in other countries. “We were trying to understand how different the Indian variants are, and we found that they are very different from the original strains used to develop the vaccines,” says Rahul Roy, PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering (CE), IISc, and corresponding author of the study published on April 3, 2023 in PLoS Pathogens. He and collaborators examined all available (408) genetic sequences of Indian dengue strains from infected patients collected between the years 1956 and 2018 by others, as well as the team members themselves. The open-access PLoS article is titled “Evolutionary Dynamics of Dengue Virus in India.”

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