Mapping the Dynamics of Contemporary PRRSV-2 Evolution and Its Emergence and Spreading Hotspots in the U.S. Using Phylogeography

Nakarin Pamornchainavakul, Igor A.D. Paploski, Dennis N. Makau, Mariana Kikuti, Albert Rovira, Samantha Lycett, Cesar A. Corzo, Kimberly VanderWaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The repeated emergence of new genetic variants of PRRSV-2, the virus that causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), reflects its rapid evolution and the failure of previous control efforts. Understanding spatiotemporal heterogeneity in variant emergence and spread is critical for future outbreak prevention. Here, we investigate how the pace of evolution varies across time and space, identify the origins of sub-lineage emergence, and map the patterns of the inter-regional spread of PRRSV-2 Lineage 1 (L1)—the current dominant lineage in the U.S. We performed comparative phylogeographic analyses on subsets of 19,395 viral ORF5 sequences collected across the U.S. and Canada between 1991 and 2021. The discrete trait analysis of multiple spatiotemporally stratified sampled sets (n = 500 each) was used to infer the ancestral geographic region and dispersion of each sub-lineage. The robustness of the results was compared to that of other modeling methods and subsampling strategies. Generally, the spatial spread and population dynamics varied across sub-lineages, time, and space. The Upper Midwest was a main spreading hotspot for multiple sub-lineages, e.g., L1C and L1F, though one of the most recent emergence events (L1A(2)) spread outwards from the east. An understanding of historical patterns of emergence and spread can be used to strategize disease control and the containment of emerging variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number740
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 by the authors.


  • disease emergence
  • molecular epidemiology
  • phylogeography
  • porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
  • subsampling
  • virus evolution

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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