Monkey eyeing sampling platform

CREATE-NEO: Yamilka Díaz López, MSc
Panama Team

Yamilka DiazYamilka Díaz López, MSc

Emergent Viruses, Molecular Epidemiology

My research goal is the study of arboviruses and their clinical, epidemiological and virological characteristics. I have collaborated in the response to epidemic outbreaks and in the epidemiological and phylogenetic characterization of emerging viruses in the country such as Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. I am currently conducting research that seeks to determine potentially emerging arboviruses in forested areas of the Mesoamerican biodiversity corridor affected by anthropogenic activities that modify the environment in an intensive way. For this, we study the virological, ecological, clinical and epidemiological components of endemic arboviruses in the local and indigenous populations of these regions.


  1. Díaz Y, Chen-Germán M, Quiroz E, et al. Molecular Epidemiology of Dengue in Panama: 25 Years of Circulation. Viruses. 2019;11(8):764. Published 2019 Aug 20. doi:10.3390/v11080764.
  2. Díaz Y, Cisneros J, Guzmán H, et al. The reintroduction of DENV-2 in 2011 in Panama and subsequent outbreak characteristic. Acta Trop. 2018;177:58-65. doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.09.031
  3. Valderrama A, Díaz Y, López-Vergès S. Interaction of Flavivirus with their mosquito vectors and their impact on the human health in the Americas. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017;492(4):541-547. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.05.050
  4. Gundacker ND, Carrera JP, Castillo M, Díaz Y. et al. Clinical Manifestations of Punta Toro Virus Species Complex Infections, Panama, 2009. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(5):872-874. doi:10.3201/eid2305.161925
  5. Carrera JP, Díaz Y, Denis B, et al. Unusual pattern of chikungunya virus epidemic in the Americas, the Panamanian experience. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(2):e0005338. Published 2017 Feb 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005338
  6. Carrera JP, Guzman H, Beltrán D, Díaz Y, et al. Mercadeo Virus: A Novel Mosquito-Specific Flavivirus from Panama. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015;93(5):1014-1019. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.15-0117
  7. Díaz Y, Carrera JP, Cerezo L, et al. Chikungunya virus infection: first detection of imported and autochthonous cases in Panama. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015;92(3):482-485. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.14-0404
  8. Carrera JP, Forrester N, Wang E, Vittor AY, Haddow A, López Vergès S, Castaño E, Sosa N, Báez C, Estripeaut D, Díaz Y. et al. Eastern equine encephalitis in Latin America. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(8):732-744. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1212628

CREATE-NEO members

The Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Disease (CREID) is a coordinated network with centers in regions around the globe where emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks are likely to occur. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators will conduct pathogen/host surveillance, study pathogen transmission, pathogenesis and immunologic responses in the host, and will develop reagents and diagnostic assays for improved detection for important emerging pathogens and their vectors.

NIAID launched the CREID Network in 2020.This website is run by CREATE-NEO, a member of the CREID Network independent of NIH/NIAID.