Whole genome sequencing of outbreak strains from 2017 to 2018 reveals an endemic clade of dengue 1 virus in Cameroon

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dengue fever is expanding as a global public health threat including countries within Africa. For the past few decades, Cameroon has experienced sporadic cases of arboviral infections including dengue fever. Here, we conducted genomic analyses to investigate the origin and phylogenetic profile of Cameroon DENV-1 outbreak strains and predict the impact of emerging therapeutics on these strains. Bayesian and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic inference approaches were employed in virus evolutionary analyses. An in silico analysis was performed to assess the divergence in immunotherapeutic and vaccine targets in the new genomes. Six complete DENV-1 genomes were generated from 50 samples that met a clinical definition for DENV infection. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the strains from the current study belong to a sub-lineage of DENV-1 genotype V and form a monophyletic taxon with a 2012 strain from Gabon. The most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of the Cameroon and Gabon strains was estimated to have existed around 2008. Comparing our sequences to the vaccine strains, 19 and 15 amino acid (aa) substitutions were observed in the immuno-protective prM-E protein segments of the Dengvaxia® and TetraVax-DV-TV003 vaccines, respectively. Epitope mapping revealed mismatches in aa residues at positions E155 and E161 located in the epitope of the human anti-DENV-1 monoclonal antibody HMAb 1F4. The new DENV strains constitute a conserved genomic pool of viruses endemic to the Central African region that needs prospective monitoring to track local viral evolution. Further work is needed to ascertain the performance of emerging therapeutics in DENV strains from the African region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2281352
JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • Africa
  • Cameroon
  • Dengue virus 1
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • phylogenetics
  • vaccine
  • whole genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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