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BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 265, 2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33731022


BACKGROUND: Increasing arbovirus infections have been a global burden in recent decades. Many countries have experienced the periodic emergence of arbovirus diseases. However, information on the prevalence of arboviruses is largely unknown or infrequently updated because of the lack of surveillance studies, especially in Africa. METHODS: A surveillance study was conducted in Gabon, Central Africa, on arboviruses, which are a major public health concern in Africa, including: West Nile virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), yellow fever virus (YFV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). Serological and molecular assays were performed to investigate past infection history and the current status of infection, using serum samples collected from healthy individuals and febrile patients, respectively. RESULTS: The overall seroprevalence during 2014-2017 was estimated to be 25.3% for WNV, 20.4% for DENV, 40.3% for ZIKV, 60.7% for YFV, 61.2% for CHIKV, and 14.3% for RVFV. No significant differences were found in the seroprevalence of any of the viruses between the male and female populations. However, a focus on the mean age in each arbovirus-seropositive individual showed a significantly younger age in WNV- and DENV-seropositive individuals than in CHIKV-seropositive individuals, indicating that WNV and DENV caused a relatively recent epidemic in the region, whereas CHIKV had actively circulated before. Of note, this indication was supported by the detection of both WNV and DENV genomes in serum samples collected from febrile patients after 2016. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the recent re-emergence of WNV and DENV in Gabon as well as the latest seroprevalence state of the major arboviruses, which indicated the different potential risks of virus infections and virus-specific circulation patterns. This information will be helpful for public health organizations and will enable a rapid response towards these arbovirus infections, thereby preventing future spread in the country.

Arboviruses/isolation & purification , Dengue/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Adolescent , Animals , Arbovirus Infections/diagnosis , Arbovirus Infections/epidemiology , Arboviruses/classification , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Dengue/diagnosis , Female , Fever/epidemiology , Fever/virology , Gabon/epidemiology , Humans , Infant , Male , Public Health , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Zika Virus Infection/diagnosis