Genomic epidemiology supports multiple introductions and cryptic transmission of Zika virus in Colombia

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Allison BlackTrevor Bedford


Background: Colombia was the second most affected country during the American Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic, with over 109,000 reported cases. Despite the scale of the outbreak, limited genomic sequence data were available from Colombia. We sought to sequence additional samples and use genomic epidemiology to describe ZIKV dynamics in Colombia. Methods: We sequenced ZIKV genomes directly from clinical diagnostic specimens and infected \textit{Aedes aegypti} samples selected to cover the temporal and geographic breadth of the Colombian outbreak. We performed phylogeographic analysis of these genomes, along with other publicly-available ZIKV genomes from the Americas, to estimate the frequency and timing of ZIKV introductions to Colombia. Results: We attempted PCR amplification on 184 samples; 19 samples amplified sufficiently to perform sequencing. Of these, 8 samples yielded sequences with at least 50\% coverage. Our phylogeographic reconstruction indicates two separate introductions of ZIKV to Colombia, one of which was previously unrecognized. We find that ZIKV was first introduced to Colombia in February 2015 (95\%CI: Jan 2015 - Apr 2015), corresponding to 5 to 8 months of cryptic ZIKV transmission prior to confirmation in Sept...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Epidemiologic Studies
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Disease Transmission
Zika virus (organism)
Aedes aegypti
Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
DNA Amplification

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