Genomic epidemiology reveals multiple introductions of Zika virus into the United States

Nature
Nathan D GrubaughKristian G Andersen

Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) is causing an unprecedented epidemic linked to severe congenital abnormalities. In July 2016, mosquito-borne ZIKV transmission was reported in the continental United States; since then, hundreds of locally acquired infections have been reported in Florida. To gain insights into the timing, source, and likely route(s) of ZIKV introduction, we tracked the virus from its first detection in Florida by sequencing ZIKV genomes from infected patients and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. We show that at least 4 introductions, but potentially as many as 40, contributed to the outbreak in Florida and that local transmission is likely to have started in the spring of 2016-several months before its initial detection. By analysing surveillance and genetic data, we show that ZIKV moved among transmission zones in Miami. Our analyses show that most introductions were linked to the Caribbean, a finding corroborated by the high incidence rates and traffic volumes from the region into the Miami area. Our study provides an understanding of how ZIKV initiates transmission in new regions.

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Datasets Mentioned

BETA
PRJNA356429
PRVABC59
KU501215
KU365778.1
KU853012
KX197192.1
PRJNA342539

Methods Mentioned

BETA
Fluorescence
PCR

Related Concepts

Zika Virus Disease (Disorder)
Zika virus (organism)
Mosquito Vectors
Aedes
Metazoa
Disease Outbreaks
Viral Genome
Genetic Epidemiology
Congenital Abnormality
Epidemiology

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