Research Highlights: Tracking Mumps Transmission in the United States

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Tracking Mumps Transmission in the United States

  • Mumps is a viral infection that causes swelling of the salivary glands.[1]
  • In 2016 and 2017, there were unusually large outbreaks of mumps across the United States.
  • There was a lack of data about the extent of mumps circulation and the relationship between these outbreaks and prior outbreaks.
  • Researchers utilized data from public health investigations and analysis of mumps virus whole genome sequences.
  • Number of samples: 201 infected individual, focusing on Massachusetts university communities.
  • Study shows continuous, undetected circulation of mumps locally and nationally.
  • Additionally, analysis shows multiple independent introductions of mumps into Massachusetts and into individual communities.
  • Multiple mumps virus lineages have been observed.
  • However, one lineage has been dominating in the United States since at least 2006.
  • Despite high vaccination rates, widespread transmission was observed.
  • Fortunately, vaccines can still work against variants arising during this outbreaks.
  • Genomic data allowed researchers to trace mumps transmission links between unrelated mumps outbreaks.

Related Topic: The Mumps

Source:

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

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mumps/symptoms-causes/syc-20375361

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