We study the long term spread of arboviruses in Thailand using viral genomes collected over a 50 year period
Arboviruses infect millions of people each year, however, mechanisms that drive viral emergence and maintenance remain largely unknown. A combination of host factors (e.g., human mobility), mosquito factors (e.g., abundance) and viral factors (e.g., transmissibility) interconnect to drive spread. Further, for endemic arboviruses, complex patterns of population immunity, built up over many years, appear key to the emergence of particular lineages. To disentangle the contribution of these different drivers, we need detailed data from the same pathogen system over a long time period from the same location. In addition, we need new methods, which can integrate these different data sources and allow appropriate mechanistic inferences.
In our ERC funded ARBODYNAMIC project, we use the most globally prevalent arbovirus, dengue virus, as a case study, focusing in on Thailand where all four dengue serotypes have circulated endemically for decades and excellent long-term data and isolates exist, to address fundamental questions of how human behaviors, vector densities interact with immunity to dictate spread. We work with geolocated full genome sequences from across Thailand and use detailed data on how people move, their contact patterns, their immunity profiles and mosquito distributions to study competing hypotheses of how arboviruses spread. We also compare the key drivers of dengue spread with that found for outbreaks of Zika and chikungunya.
22 Mar 20212021: 12: 1810, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21888-9
23 May 20192019: 8: e45474, 10.7554/eLife.45474