Genomic Analysis of Lassa Virus during an Increase in Cases in Nigeria in 2018.
During 2018, an unusual increase in Lassa fever cases occurred in Nigeria, raising concern among national and international public health agencies. We analyzed 220 Lassa virus genomes from infected patients, including 129 from the 2017-2018 transmission season, to understand the viral populations underpinning the increase. A total of 14 initial genomes from 2018 samples were generated at Redeemer's University in Nigeria, and the findings were shared with the Nigerian Center for Disease Control in real time. We found that the increase in cases was not attributable to a particular Lassa virus strain or sustained by human-to-human transmission. Instead, the data were consistent with ongoing cross-species transmission from local rodent populations. Phylogenetic analysis also revealed extensive viral diversity that was structured according to geography, with major rivers appearing to act as barriers to migration of the rodent reservoir.
|Year of Publication||
N Engl J Med
2018 11 01
|PubMed Central ID||
U19 AI115589 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI114855 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
U19 AI135995 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR001114 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
U01 HG007480 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States
HHMI / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States
R44 AI115754 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
U54 HG007480 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States
U19 AI110818 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States