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Phylogenetic analysis of eastern equine encephalitis virus isolates from Florida.

Abstract

Florida has the highest degree of endemicity for eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) of any state in the United States and is the only state with year-round transmission of EEEV. To further understand the viral population dynamics in Florida, the genome sequence of six EEEV isolates from central Florida were determined. These data were used to identify the most polymorphic regions of the EEEV genome from viruses isolated in Florida. The sequence of these polymorphic regions was then determined for 18 additional Florida isolates collected in four geographically distinct regions over a 20-year period. Phylogenetic analyses of these data suggested a rough temporal association of the Florida isolates, but no clustering by region or by source of the isolate. Some clustering of northeastern isolates with Florida isolates was seen, providing support for the hypothesis that Florida serves as a reservoir for the periodic introduction of EEEV into the northeastern United States.

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