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outbreaker2: a framework for reconstructing disease outbreaks

Welcome to the project page of outbreaker2, a Bayesian framework for integrating epidemiological and genetic data to reconstruct transmission trees of densely sampled outbreaks. It re-implements, generalises and replaces the model of outbreaker, and uses a modular approach which enables fine customisation of priors, likelihoods and parameter movements (see customisation vignette).

NOTE: Correction to genetic likelihood

The genetic likelihood of the original outbreaker paper was found to contain a minor mistake in accounting for unobserved generations of infection. As of June 7th 2019, outbreaker2 will use the correct genetic likelihood published here.

The original genetic likelihood was:

The corrected genetic likelihood is:


To install the stable version from CRAN:


To install the development version from github (requires Rtools on windows and GSL headers on all platforms):


To add local copies of the vignettes, you will need to specify:

devtools::install_github("reconhub/outbreaker2", build_vignettes = TRUE)

Then, to load the package, use:



outbreaker2 is fully documented on a dedicated website.

It also comes with the following vignettes:


See details of contributions here.

Contributions are welcome via pull requests.

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

Maintainer: Finlay Campbell (