Molecular epidemiology of measles viruses in the United States, 1997-2001

Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Sep;8(9):902-8. doi: 10.3201/eid0809.020206.


From 1997 to 2001, sequence data from 55 clinical specimens were obtained from confirmed measles cases in the United States, representing 21 outbreaks and 34 sporadic cases. Sequence analysis indicated the presence of 11 of the recognized genotypes. The most common genotypes detected were genotype D6, usually identified from imported cases from Europe, and genotype D5, associated with importations from Japan. A number of viruses belonging to genotype D4 were imported from India and Pakistan. Overall, viral genotypes were determined for 13 chains of transmission with an unknown source of virus, and seven different genotypes were identified. Therefore, the diversity of Measles virus genotypes observed in the United States from 1997 to 2001 reflected multiple imported sources of virus and indicated that no strain of measles is endemic in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Female
  • Genes, Viral / genetics
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Measles / epidemiology*
  • Measles / virology*
  • Measles virus / genetics*
  • Measles virus / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology