Getting to the root of epidemic spread with phylodynamic analysis of genomic data

Trends Microbiol. 2015 Jul;23(7):383-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2015.04.007.


When epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics occur on similar timescales, pathogen genomes sampled from infected hosts carry a signature of the dynamics of epidemic spread. Phylodynamic inference methods aim to extract this signature from genetic data. We discuss the contribution of phylodynamics toward understanding the 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic.

Keywords: Bayesian statistics; Ebola virus disease; MCMC; epidemiology; infectious diseases; phylogenetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem
  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Genomics* / methods
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Phylogeny*