Next Article in Journal
Genetic Characterization of the Tick-Borne Orbiviruses
Next Article in Special Issue
Structural Conservation and Functional Diversity of the Poxvirus Immune Evasion (PIE) Domain Superfamily
Previous Article in Journal
BST2/Tetherin Inhibition of Alphavirus Exit
Previous Article in Special Issue
Genome Variability and Gene Content in Chordopoxviruses: Dependence on Microsatellites
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Viruses 2015, 7(4), 2168-2184;

A Phylogeographic Investigation of African Monkeypox

Poxvirus and Rabies Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) CDC Fellowship Program, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
INRB Laboratory, Avenue de la Démocratie. Kinshasa-Gombe B.P. 1197 Kinshasa 1, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Kinshasa School of Public Health, University of Kinshasa, 11850 Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Biology Department, University of Kinshasa, P.O. Box 218 Kinshasa XI, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elliot J. Lefkowitz
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 15 April 2015 / Accepted: 20 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poxvirus Evolution)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1774 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]   |  


Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease caused by a virus member of the genus Orthopoxvirus and is endemic to Central and Western African countries. Previous work has identified two geographically disjuct clades of monkeypox virus based on the analysis of a few genomes coupled with epidemiological and clinical analyses; however, environmental and geographic causes of this differentiation have not been explored. Here, we expand previous phylogenetic studies by analyzing a larger set of monkeypox virus genomes originating throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to identify possible biogeographic barriers associated with genetic differentiation; and projected ecological niche models onto environmental conditions at three periods in the past to explore the potential role of climate oscillations in the evolution of the two primary clades. Analyses supported the separation of the Congo Basin and West Africa clades; the Congo Basin clade shows much shorter branches, which likely indicate a more recent diversification of isolates within this clade. The area between the Sanaga and Cross Rivers divides the two clades and the Dahomey Gap seems to have also served as a barrier within the West African clade. Contraction of areas with suitable environments for monkeypox virus during the Last Glacial Maximum, suggests that the Congo Basin clade of monkeypox virus experienced a severe bottleneck and has since expanded its geographic range. View Full-Text
Keywords: monkeypox; orthopoxvirus; Phylogenetics; Pleistocene; ecological niche model; evolution monkeypox; orthopoxvirus; Phylogenetics; Pleistocene; ecological niche model; evolution

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Nakazawa, Y.; Mauldin, M.R.; Emerson, G.L.; Reynolds, M.G.; Lash, R.R.; Gao, J.; Zhao, H.; Li, Y.; Muyembe, J.-J.; Kingebeni, P.M.; Wemakoy, O.; Malekani, J.; Karem, K.L.; Damon, I.K.; Carroll, D.S. A Phylogeographic Investigation of African Monkeypox. Viruses 2015, 7, 2168-2184.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top