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

Nathan D. Grubaugh, Jason T. Ladner, Moritz UG Kraemer, Gytis Dudas, Amanda L Tan, Karthik Gangavarapu, Michael R. Wiley, Stephen White, Julien Theze, Diogo M Magnani, Karla Prieto, Daniel Reyes, Andrea Bingham, Lauren M Paul, Refugio Robles-Sikisaka, Glenn Oliveira, Darryl Pronty, Carolyn M Barcellona, Hayden C Metsky, Mary Lynn BanieckiKayla G Barnes, Bridget Chak, Catherine A Freije, Adrianne Gladden-Young, Andreas Gnirke, Cynthia Luo, Bronwyn MacInnis, Christian B Matranga, Daniel J Park, James Qu, Stephen F Schaffner, Tomkins-Tinch Christopher, Kendra L West, Sarah M Winnicki, Shirlee Wohl, Nathan L Yozwiak, Joshua Quick, Joseph R Fauver, Kamran Khan, Shannon E Brent, Robert C Reiner Jr, Paola N Lichtenberger, Michael Ricciardi, Varian K Bailey, David I Watkins, Marshall R Cone, Edgar W Kopp IV, Kelly N Hogan, Andrew C Cannons, Reynald Jean, Andrew J Monaghan, Robert F Garry, Nicholas J Loman, Nuno R Faria, Mario C Porcelli, Chalmers Vasquez, Elyse R Nagle, Derek AT Cummings, Danielle Stanek, Andrew Rambaut, Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart, Pardis C Sabeti, Leah D Gillis, Scott F Michael, Trevor Bedford, Oliver G. Pybus, Sharon Isern, Gustavo F. Palacios, Kristian G. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zika virus (ZI KV) is causing an unprecedented epidemic linked to severe congenital syndromes1,2. In July 2016, mosquito-borne ZIKV transmission was reported in the continental United States and since then, hundreds of locally-acquired infections have been reported in Florida3,4. 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 four introductions, but potentially as many as 40, contributed to the outbreak in Florida and that local transmission likely started in the spring of 2016 – several months before initial detection. By analyzing surveillance and genetic data, we discovered that ZIKV moved among transmission zones in Miami. Our analyses show that most introductions are 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401–405
Early online date24 May 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2017

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