The Role of Human Transportation Networks in Mediating the Genetic Structure of Seasonal Influenza in the United States


The rapid, long-distance spread of human pathogens such as seasonal influenza A across modern transportation networks presents a tremendous challenge for public health. Previous work based on influenza-like illness reports has demonstrated that commuters play an important role in the transmission of influenza across the United States. However, genetic structuring of influenza populations within a single season has not previously been detected. Here, we use sequence data collected over multiple seasons to investigate how human movement along the aviation and commuter networks in the United States contributes to influenza transmission at the regional scale. We confirm that commuters can play an integral role in interstate influenza transmission, but found that this pattern was specific to the influenza A subtype under investigation. We additionally show that strong county-to-county commuter flows do not necessarily fall within state boundaries, emphasizing the need for more precise spatial data to be associated with publically available sequences. Our results demonstrate that genetic structure does exist for influenza populations during the course of a single season at the regional scale and highlight the need to incorporate host movement patterns when studying spatial population structure.


Vyšlo v časopise: The Role of Human Transportation Networks in Mediating the Genetic Structure of Seasonal Influenza in the United States. PLoS Pathog 11(6): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004898
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004898

Souhrn

The rapid, long-distance spread of human pathogens such as seasonal influenza A across modern transportation networks presents a tremendous challenge for public health. Previous work based on influenza-like illness reports has demonstrated that commuters play an important role in the transmission of influenza across the United States. However, genetic structuring of influenza populations within a single season has not previously been detected. Here, we use sequence data collected over multiple seasons to investigate how human movement along the aviation and commuter networks in the United States contributes to influenza transmission at the regional scale. We confirm that commuters can play an integral role in interstate influenza transmission, but found that this pattern was specific to the influenza A subtype under investigation. We additionally show that strong county-to-county commuter flows do not necessarily fall within state boundaries, emphasizing the need for more precise spatial data to be associated with publically available sequences. Our results demonstrate that genetic structure does exist for influenza populations during the course of a single season at the regional scale and highlight the need to incorporate host movement patterns when studying spatial population structure.


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Hygiena a epidemiológia Infekčné lekárstvo Laboratórium

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