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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2018, Article ID 6941735, 9 pages
Research Article

Revisiting Key Entry Routes of Human Epidemic Arboviruses into the Mainland Americas through Large-Scale Phylogenomics

1Bioinformatics Core Facility, Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Recife PE, Brazil
2Department of Virology, Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Recife PE, Brazil
3Department of Microbiology, Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Recife PE, Brazil
4MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
5Department of Entomology, Aggeu Magalhães Institute (IAM), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Recife PE, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Gabriel Luz Wallau; rb.zurcoif.maqpc@uallaw.leirbag and Lindomar José Pena; moc.liamg@01tevramodnil

Received 28 March 2018; Revised 24 July 2018; Accepted 2 August 2018; Published 8 October 2018

Academic Editor: Corey Nislow

Copyright © 2018 Túlio De Lima Campos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rapid worldwide spread of chikungunya (CHIKV), dengue (DENV), and Zika (ZIKV) viruses have raised great international concern. Knowledge about the entry routes and geographic expansion of these arboviruses to the mainland Americas remain incomplete and controversial. Epidemics caused by arboviruses continue to cause socioeconomic burden globally, particularly in countries where vector control is difficult due to climatic or infrastructure factors. Understanding how the virus circulates and moves from one country to another is of paramount importance to assist government and health officials in anticipating future epidemics, as well as to take steps to help control or mitigate the spread of the virus. Through the analyses of the sequences of arbovirus genomes collected at different locations over time, we identified patterns of accumulated mutations, being able to trace routes of dispersion of these viruses. Here, we applied robust phylogenomic methods to trace the evolutionary dynamics of these arboviruses with special focus on Brazil, the epicenter of these triple epidemics. Our results show that CHIKV, DENV-1–4, and ZIKV followed a similar path prior to their first introductions into the mainland Americas, underscoring the need for systematic arboviral surveillance at major entry points of human population movement between countries such as airports and seaports.