Phylodynamics and Human-Mediated Dispersal of a Zoonotic Virus

Chiraz Talbi, Philippe Lemey, Marc A. Suchard, Elbia Abdelatif, Mehdi Elharrak, Jalal Nourlil, Abdellah Faouzi, Juan E. Echevarria, Sonia Vazquez Moron, Andrew Rambaut, Nicholas Campiz, Andrew J. Tatem, Edward C. Holmes, Herve Bourhy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the role of humans in the dispersal of predominately animal pathogens is essential for their control. We used newly developed Bayesian phylogeographic methods to unravel the dynamics and determinants of the spread of dog rabies virus (RABV) in North Africa. Each of the countries studied exhibited largely disconnected spatial dynamics with major geopolitical boundaries acting as barriers to gene flow. Road distances proved to be better predictors of the movement of dog RABV than accessibility or raw geographical distance, with occasional long distance and rapid spread within each of these countries. Using simulations that bridge phylodynamics and spatial epidemiology, we demonstrate that the contemporary viral distribution extends beyond that expected for RABV transmission in African dog populations. These results are strongly supportive of human-mediated dispersal, and demonstrate how an integrated phylogeographic approach will turn viral genetic data into a powerful asset for characterizing, predicting, and potentially controlling the spatial spread of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1001166
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages10
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Volume6
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • DOG RABIES VIRUS
  • TRANSMISSION DYNAMICS
  • VACCINATION CAMPAIGN
  • POPULATION-DYNAMICS
  • MOLECULAR SEQUENCES
  • BITE INJURIES
  • CANINE RABIES
  • AFRICA
  • EVOLUTION
  • DISEASE

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