Origin of the dengue virus outbreak in Martin County, Florida, USA 2013

Virol Rep. 2014 March-June:1-2:2-8. doi: 10.1016/j.virep.2014.05.001.


After a 75-year absence from Florida, substantial local transmission of dengue virus (DENV) occurred in Key West, Monroe County, Florida in 2009 and continued in 2010. The outbreak culminated in 85 reported cases. In 2011 and 2012, only isolated cases of local DENV transmission were reported in Florida, none were reported in Key West. In 2013, a new outbreak occurred, but this time in Martin County about 275 miles North of Key West with 22 reported cases. As the Key West and Martin County outbreaks involved DENV serotype 1 (DENV-1), we wanted to investigate whether the same strain or a different strain of DENV was responsible for the outbreaks. In this study, we report the sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the E generegion from a patient diagnosed with dengue in Martin County. Our results indicate that the 2013 Martin County DENV-1 strain is distinct from the 2009-2010 Key West DENV-1 and that it is most closely related to viruses from a recent expansion of South American DENV-1 strains into the Caribbean. We conclude that the 2013 Martin County outbreak was the result of a new introduction of DENV-1 in Florida.