New dengue virus behind maximum epidemics detected in India

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    New Delhi: If the dengue virus that has gripped the nation wasn’t enough, scientists at the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV) have detected a new genotype of the mosquito-borne virus in India.

    According to a report in a leading daily, the new virus is of an Asian genotype that caused severe epidemics in Singapore in 2005 and Sri Lanka in 2009.

    The same genotype was also responsible for dengue outbreaks in Tamil Nadu (2012) and Kerala (2013). It was again detected in a sample from Vellore in 2015.

    At present, samples from Delhi, Maharashtra and a few other states are under analysis to figure out the circulation of the new Asian genotype in other regions.

    There are four distinct dengue virus types circulating in India: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. The new virus is an Asian genotype of DENV-1 and was found in blood samples drawn from patients in southern India, the report said.

    However, this finding hasn’t replaced DENV-1 – the old American-African genotype – in circulation in India since the 1940s.

    Scientists said both genotypes of DENV-1 are now co-circulating in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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