Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32441631
Emerg Infect Dis . 2020 Jun;26(6):1084-1090
During 2015-2016, Cape Verde, an island nation off the coast of West Africa, experienced a Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak involving 7,580 suspected Zika cases and 18 microcephaly cases. Analysis of the complete genomes of 3 ZIKV isolates from the outbreak indicated the strain was of the Asian (not African) lineage. The Cape Verde ZIKV sequences formed a distinct monophylogenetic group and possessed 1-2 (T659A, I756V) unique amino acid changes in the envelope protein. Phylogeographic and serologic evidence support earlier introduction of this lineage into Cape Verde, possibly from northeast Brazil, between June 2014 and August 2015, suggesting cryptic circulation of the virus before the initial wave of cases were detected in October 2015. These findings underscore the utility of genomic-scale epidemiology for outbreak investigations.