New Dengue Variant Identified By Scientists In Southern India
This new genetic variant lead to an outbreak of dengue in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
New genetic variant of dengue identified by scientists in southern India
- A new genetic variant of dengue been identified by NIV
- The virus found its way in India through Singapore
- It lead to an outbreak of dengue in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in 2012-13
As per a report from The Times of India, a new genetic variant of the existing mosquito-borne viral disease in Tamil Nadu, dengue, has been identified by the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Dengue has caused havoc in the entire nation by affecting thousands and killing hundreds of people in this year. This new genetic variant, an Asian genotype caused a severe epidemic in Singapore in 2005 and in Sri Lanka in 2009. According to the WHO, dengue virus consists of four different serotypes namely:
All these belong to the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It has been reported that the same virus caused a dengue outbreak in the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in 2012 and 2013 respectively. And again in 2015, the sample was detected in Vellore.
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The NIV is an apex institution for virology research in the country under Indian Council of Medical Research. Scientists here recognized the new virus while conducting a routine check of dengue samples to indentify the current viral strain affecting people in different parts of the country. DENV-1, new dengue virus which found its way to India through Singapore, was detected in the blood samples of patients from southern India. Scientists reveal that both genotypes of the same virus are now circulating in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Experts are now focusing on the blood samples from Maharashtra and Delhi and checking if the same virus is affecting people in other parts of the country or not. They explain that finding would not necessarily mean that the same virus has become more prevalent in India than the American-African genotype of DENV-1 which has been affecting India since 1940s.
Findings of this research were published in a peer-reviewed journal 'Virology' this month.