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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
Int J Infect Dis ; 105: 452-459, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33667697


OBJECTIVES: Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a human pathogenic arenavirus, is distributed worldwide. However, no human cases have been reported in Africa. This study aimed to investigate the current situation and potential risks of LCMV infection in Gabon, Central Africa. METHODS: A total of 492 human samples were screened to detect LCMV genome RNA and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. ELISA-positive samples were further examined using a neutralization assay. Viral RNAs and antibodies were also analyzed in 326 animal samples, including rodents, shrews, and bushmeat. RESULTS: While no LCMV RNA was detected in human samples, the overall seroprevalence was 21.5% and was significantly higher in male and adult populations. The neutralization assay identified seven samples with neutralizing activity. LCMV RNA was detected in one species of rodent (Lophuromys sikapusi) and a porcupine, and anti-LCMV IgG antibodies were detected in four rodents and three shrews. CONCLUSIONS: This study determined for the first time the seroprevalence of LCMV in Gabon, and revealed that local rodents, shrews, and porcupines in areas surrounding semi-urban cities posed an infection risk. Hence, LCMV infection should be considered a significant public health concern in Africa.