Understanding recent US mumps outbreaks

February 11, 2020

A single strain of mumps virus has dominated the US since 2006, and is responsible for many of the large numbers of cases seen across the country in the widespread 2016-17 outbreaks. In a paper publishing February 11 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, Pardis Sabeti from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and colleagues analyze over 200 whole mumps virus genomes from patient swab samples, providing insights not obtained in standard public health surveillance efforts.

An unusually high number of mumps cases were reported in the US in 2016 and 2017, despite high rates of vaccination. The recent resurgence is partly explained by reduced vaccine-induced immunity but it was unclear how much genetic changes in the circulating viruses might be contributing to this.

The researchers sequenced whole mumps virus genomes from 203 patients, mostly from Massachusetts during 2016/17, but including 43 from other states collected between 2014 and 2017. Combining the whole genome sequences with epidemiological data, their analysis demonstrates the extent to which the disease is circulating in the United States, connects outbreaks previously thought to be unrelated, and traces transmission between communities.

The research indicates the value of high-quality genomic data in public health surveillance of mumps and suggests future efforts should incorporate whole genome sequencing. Pardis Sabeti says: "Understanding sequence data for pathogens like mumps virus can help understanding of the spread of infectious diseases more quickly and allow researchers to detect changes in the genome that could affect disease severity or the effectiveness of vaccines and diagnosis."
-end-
Peer-reviewed; Experimental study; Cells

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Biology: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000611

Citation: Wohl S, Metsky HC, Schaffner SF, Piantadosi A, Burns M, Lewnard JA, et al. (2020) Combining genomics and epidemiology to track mumps virus transmission in the United States. PLoS Biol 18(2): e3000611. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000611

Funding: Funding was provided by: NIH NIAID U19AI110818 (Broad Institute); NIH NIAID U54GM088558 (J.A.L.); Howard Hughes Medical Institute (P.C.S.); Harvard University Burke Global Health Fellowship (P.C.S.); Amazon Web Services Cloud Credits for Research (P.C.S.). The project described was supported by award number T32GM007753 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (E.H.B.). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Genome Articles from Brightsurf:

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Breakthrough in genome visualization
Kadir Dede and Dr. Enno Ohlebusch at Ulm University in Germany have devised a method for constructing pan-genome subgraphs at different granularities without having to wait hours and days on end for the software to process the entire genome.

Sturgeon genome sequenced
Sturgeons lived on earth already 300 million years ago and yet their external appearance seems to have undergone very little change.

A sea monster's genome
The giant squid is an elusive giant, but its secrets are about to be revealed.

Deciphering the walnut genome
New research could provide a major boost to the state's growing $1.6 billion walnut industry by making it easier to breed walnut trees better equipped to combat the soil-borne pathogens that now plague many of California's 4,800 growers.

Illuminating the genome
Development of a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes.

A genome under influence
References form the basis of our comprehension of the world: they enable us to measure the height of our children or the efficiency of a drug.

How a virus destabilizes the genome
New insights into how Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) induces genome instability and promotes cell proliferation could lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies for KSHV-associated cancers, according to a study published Sept.

Better genome editing
Reich Group researchers develop a more efficient and precise method of in-cell genome editing.

Unlocking the genome
A team led by Prof. Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovers how access to relevant DNA regions is orchestrated in epithelial cells.

Read More: Genome News and Genome Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.