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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

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
Pages (from-to)65-73
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

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

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