Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, 112(11) November 2017
Letter to the editor
Tracing the origin of the NS1 A188V substitution responsible for recent enhancement of Zika virus Asian genotype infectivity
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Laboratório de AIDS e Imunologia Molecular, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
A recent study showed that infectivity of Zika virus (ZIKV) Asian genotype was enhanced by an alanine-to-valine amino acid substitution at residue 188 of the NS1 protein, but the precise time and location of origin of this mutation were not formally estimated. Here, we applied a Bayesian coalescent-based framework to estimate the age and location of the ancestral viral strain carrying the A188V substitution. Our results support that the ancestral ZIKV strain carrying the A188V substitution arose in Southeastern Asia at the early 2000s and circulated in that region for some time (5-10 years) before being disseminated to Southern Pacific islands and the Americas.