Regato M, Recarey R, Moratorio G, de Mora D, Garcia-Aguirre L, Gónzalez M, Mosquera C, Alava A, Fajardo A, Alvarez M, D' Andrea L, Dubra A, Martínez M, Khan B, Cristina J
Dengue virus (DENV) is a member of the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae. DENV causes a wide range of diseases in humans, from the acute febrile illness dengue fever (DF) to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). There is not knowledge of the genetic relations among DENV circulating in Ecuador. Given the emerging behaviour of DENV, a single tube RT-PCR assay using a pair of consensus primers to target the NS5 coding region has been recently validated for rapid detection of flaviviruses. In order to gain insight into the degree of genetic variation of DENV strains isolated in Ecuador, DENV NS5 sequences from 23 patients were obtained by direct sequencing of PCR fragments using the mentioned one step RT-PCR assay. Phylogenetic analysis carried out using the 23 Ecuadorian DENV NS5 sequences, as well as 56 comparable sequences from DENV strains isolated elsewhere, revealed a close genetic relation among Ecuadorian strains and DENV isolates of Caribbean origin. The use of partial NS5 gene sequences may represent a useful alternative for a rapid phylogenetic analysis of DENV outbreaks.