Phylogenetic evidence for recombination in dengue virus

Mol Biol Evol. 1999 Mar;16(3):405-9. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026121.


A split decomposition analysis of dengue (DEN) virus gene sequences revealed extensive networked evolution, indicative of recombination, among DEN-1 strains but not within serotypes DEN-2, DEN-3, or DEN-4. Within DEN-1, two viruses sampled from South America in the last 10 years were identified as recombinants. To map the breakpoints and test their statistical support, we developed a novel maximum likelihood method. In both recombinants, the breakpoints were found to be in similar positions, within the fusion peptide of the envelope protein, demonstrating that a single recombination event occurred prior to the divergence of these two strains. This is the first report of recombination in natural populations of dengue virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dengue / prevention & control
  • Dengue / virology
  • Dengue Virus / classification
  • Dengue Virus / genetics*
  • Dengue Virus / isolation & purification
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Viral
  • Genes, env
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Phylogeny*
  • Recombination, Genetic*
  • Serotyping
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Vaccines / genetics


  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines