A high-resolution genetic signature of demographic and spatial expansion in epizootic rabies virus

Biek, R. , Henderson, J.C., Walker, L.A., Rupprecht, C.E. and Real, L.A. (2007) A high-resolution genetic signature of demographic and spatial expansion in epizootic rabies virus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(19), pp. 7993-7998. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.0700741104)

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Abstract

Emerging pathogens potentially undergo rapid evolution while expanding in population size and geographic range during the course of invasion, yet it is generally difficult to demonstrate how these processes interact. Our analysis of a 30-yr data set covering a large-scale rabies virus outbreak among North American raccoons reveals the long lasting effect of the initial infection wave in determining how viral populations are genetically structured in space. We further find that coalescent-based estimates derived from the genetic data yielded an amazingly accurate reconstruction of the known spatial and demographic dynamics of the virus over time. Our study demonstrates the combined evolutionary and population dynamic processes characterizing the spread of pathogen after its introduction into a fully susceptible host population. Furthermore, the results provide important insights regarding the spatial scale of rabies persistence and validate the use of coalescent approaches for uncovering even relatively complex population histories. Such approaches will be of increasing relevance for understanding the epidemiology of emerging zoonotic diseases in a landscape context.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Biek, Professor Roman
Authors: Biek, R., Henderson, J.C., Walker, L.A., Rupprecht, C.E., and Real, L.A.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490

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