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

Nathan D. Grubaugh, Jason T. Ladner, Moritz U.G. Kraemer, Gytis Dudas, Amanda L. Tan, Karthik Gangavarapu, Michael R. Wiley, Stephen White, Julien Thézé, Diogo M. Magnani, Karla Prieto, Daniel Reyes, Andrea M. 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, Christopher Tomkins-Tinch, Kendra L. West, Sarah M. Winnicki, Shirlee Wohl, Nathan L. Yozwiak, Joshua Quick, Joseph R. Fauver, Kamran Khan, Shannon E. Brent, Robert C. Reiner, Paola N. Lichtenberger, Michael J. Ricciardi, Varian K. Bailey, David I. Watkins, Marshall R. Cone, Edgar W. Kopp, 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 A.T. 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 Palacios, Kristian G. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-405
Number of pages5
Issue number7658
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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