Genomics of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus

Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus (family, Togaviridae) of significant public and veterinary health importance throughout North, Central and South America. It has a single-stranded positive sense RNA genome of about 11,700 nt in length. EEEV causes a very debilitating disease in humans with case-fatality rates ranging between 50 and 75%, and for equids, rates can achieve rates as high as 80%.

The genetic data generated in this study: (i) characterizes EEEV genetic diversity and describe its molecular epidemiology; (ii) identifies genetic determinants of EEEV emergence and virulence; (iii) infers the demographic history and evolutionary dynamics of EEEV; (iv) infers the evolution of virulence and pathogenesis throughout EEEV’s transmission history; (v) improves the ability to derive attenuated EEEV stains for vaccine development, and (vi) identifies genetic factors underlying phenotypic differences among EEEV strains in the New World. In addition, we have increased the number of sequence records to cover the entire geographic and temporal distribution of EEEV since its first isolation in the new world in 1933.


This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services under Award Number U19AI110819.

Principal Investigator

Key Staff

  • Torrey Williams


Vanderbilt University

The University of Hong Kong

Florida Department of Health

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

University of Texas Medical Branch

Connecticut Department of Environmental Sciences

The University of Sydney

University of South Florida

New York State Department of Health

State University of New York at Albany

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