Chikungunya viruses containing the A226V mutation detected retrospectively in Cameroon form a new geographical subclade

Bright Agbodzi, Francine Berlange Sado Yousseu, Fredy Brice Nemg Simo, Selassie Kumordjie, Clara Yeboah, Mba Tihssommah Mosore, Ronald E. Bentil, Karla Prieto, Sophie M. Colston, Naiki Attram, Shirley Nimo-Paintsil, Anne T. Fox, Joseph H.K. Bonney, William Ampofo, Heather G. Coatsworth, Rhoel R. Dinglasan, David M. Wolfe, Michael R. Wiley, Maurice Demanou, Andrew G. Letizia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging arbovirus associated with sporadic outbreaks in Cameroon since 2006. Viral whole genomes were generated to analyze the origins of evolutionary lineages, the potential of emergence/re-emergence, and to infer transmission dynamics of recent Cameroon CHIKV outbreak strains. Methods: Samples collected between 2016 and 2019 during CHIKV outbreaks in Cameroon were screened for CHIKV using reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), followed by whole genome sequencing of positive samples. Results: Three coding-complete CHIKV genomes were obtained from samples, which belong to an emerging sub-lineage of the East/Central/South African genotype and formed a monophyletic taxon with previous Central African strains. This clade, which we have named the new Central African clade, appears to be evolving at 3.0 × 10−4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year (95% highest posterior density (HPD) interval of 1.94 × 10−4 to 4.1 × 10−4). Notably, mutations in the envelope proteins (E1-A226V, E2-L210Q, and E2-I211T), which are known to enhance CHIKV adaptability and infectious potential in Aedes albopictus, were present in all strains and mapped to established high-density Ae. albopictus populations. Conclusions: These new CHIKV strains constitute a conserved genomic pool of an emerging sub-lineage, reflecting a putative vector host adaptation to Ae. albopictus, which has practically displaced Aedes aegypti from select regions of Cameroon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Cameroon
  • Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)
  • E1-A226V
  • New Central African Clade (nCAC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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