Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Malaria remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in West Africa, but the contribution of other vector-borne infections (VBIs) to the burden of disease has been understudied. We used rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for three VBIs to test blood samples from 1,795 febrile residents of Bo City, Sierra Leone, over a 1-year period in 2012–2013. In total, 24% of the tests were positive for malaria, fewer than 5% were positive for markers of dengue virus infection, and 39% were positive for IgM directed against chikungunya virus (CHIKV) or a related alphavirus. In total, more than half (55%) of these febrile individuals tested positive for at least one of the three VBIs, which highlights the very high burden of vector-borne diseases in this population. The prevalence of positives on the Chikungunya IgM and dengue tests did not vary significantly with age ( > 0.36), but higher rates of malaria were observed in children < 15 years of age ( < 0.001). Positive results on the Chikungunya IgM RDTs were moderately correlated with rainfall ( = 0.599). Based on the high prevalence of positive results on the Chikungunya IgM RDTs from individuals Bo and its environs, there is a need to examine whether an ecological shift toward a greater burden from CHIKV or related alphaviruses is occurring in other parts of Sierra Leone or the West African region.


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  • Received : 11 Oct 2016
  • Accepted : 12 Mar 2017

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