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Air travel is associated with intracontinental spread of dengue virus serotypes 1-3 in Brazil.

  • Author(s): Nunes, Marcio RT;
  • Palacios, Gustavo;
  • Faria, Nuno Rodrigues;
  • Sousa, Edivaldo Costa;
  • Pantoja, Jamilla A;
  • Rodrigues, Sueli G;
  • Carvalho, Valéria L;
  • Medeiros, Daniele BA;
  • Savji, Nazir;
  • Baele, Guy;
  • Suchard, Marc A;
  • Lemey, Philippe;
  • Vasconcelos, Pedro FC;
  • Lipkin, W Ian
  • et al.
Abstract

Dengue virus and its four serotypes (DENV-1 to DENV-4) infect 390 million people and are implicated in at least 25,000 deaths annually, with the largest disease burden in tropical and subtropical regions. We investigated the spatial dynamics of DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-3 in Brazil by applying a statistical framework to complete genome sequences. For all three serotypes, we estimated that the introduction of new lineages occurred within 7 to 10-year intervals. New lineages were most likely to be imported from the Caribbean region to the North and Northeast regions of Brazil, and then to disperse at a rate of approximately 0.5 km/day. Joint statistical analysis of evolutionary, epidemiological and ecological data indicates that aerial transportation of humans and/or vector mosquitoes, rather than Aedes aegypti infestation rates or geographical distances, determine dengue virus spread in Brazil.

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