Insights into intercontinental spread of Zika virus
Publication in refereed journal

Times Cited
Altmetrics Information

Other information
AbstractThe epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in South America has led to World Health Organization's declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. To further inform effective public health policy, an understanding of ZIKV's transmission mechanisms is crucial. To characterize the intercontinental transmission of ZIKV, we compiled and analyzed more than 250 gene sequences together with their sequence-related geographic and temporal information, sampled across 27 countries spanning from 1947 to 2016. After filtering and selecting appropriate sequences, extensive phylogenetic analyses were performed. Although phylogeographic reconstruction supported the transmission route of the virus in Africa, South-eastern Asia, Oceania and Latin America, we discovered that the Eastern Africa origin of ZIKV was disputable. On a molecular level, purifying selection was found to be largely responsible for the evolution of non-structural protein 5 and envelope protein E. Our dataset and ancestral sequences reconstruction analysis captured previously unidentified amino acid changes during evolution. Finally, based on the estimation of the time to the most recent common ancestors for the non-structural protein 5 gene, we hypothesized potential specific historic events that occurred in the 1940s and might have facilitated the spread of Zika virus from Africa to South-eastern Asia. Our findings provide new insights into the transmission characteristics of ZIKV, while further genetic and serologic studies are warranted to support the design of tailored prevention strategies.
Acceptance Date16/04/2017
All Author(s) ListDachao Liang, Ross Ka Kit Leung, Shui Shan Lee, Kai Man Kam
Journal namePLoS ONE
Volume Number12
Issue Number4
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordszika, epidemiology, transmission dynamics, phylogeography

Last updated on 2021-18-09 at 23:46