Comparative sequence analysis of the eastern equine encephalitis virus pathogenic strains FL91-4679 and GA97 to other North American strains.
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus is a significant public health concern due to the high mortality rates observed in infected humans, equines and game birds. The EEE genomic sequences available prior to this report are based on laboratory strains with unknown passage histories that may contain an array of cell culture adaptations. Here we report the complete genomic sequences of two recently isolated EEE pathogenic strains with low passage histories. FL91-4697 was isolated in Florida from Aedes albopictus mosquitoes and GA97 was derived from brain tissue of a human fatality that occurred in 1997. Sequence alignment of these new genomes with the documented EEE's permitted us to generate a North American consensus sequence and identify regions of significant diversity. Sequence analysis of the FL91-4679 genome was essential to the production of an EEE infectious clone that is being used to create live attenuated vaccine candidates.