Oropouche Virus Transmission in the Amazon River Basin of Peru

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  • U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute Detachment, U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute, Lima, Peru

Seroepidemiologic studies were conducted to determine the prevalence of Oropouche (ORO) viral antibody, risk factors, and the incidence of infection among residents of the Amazon region of Peru. Blood samples, as well as demographic, cultural, and medical history data, were collected from residents in a sector of the city of Iquitos and in an adjacent rural and three neotropical rain forest communities. Blood specimens were obtained approximately one year later from a cohort of the same study subjects who were negative for ORO antibody on the initial cross-sectional survey. Sera were tested for ORO IgG antibody by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody prevalences were 35% for residents of the urban population, 24–46% for the forest communities, and 18% for the rural community. Antibody prevalence increased with age, and subjects who were seropositive were significantly (P = 0.001) older (mean = 33 years) than the seronegative subjects (mean = 15 years). Multivariate analysis revealed that only age, urban and forest residence, and occupation as a farmer or housekeeper remained significantly associated with seropositivity. Seroconversion data for the same populations one year later demonstrated evidence of ORO viral infection among 28% of the residents in the rural community and 2% or less in the forest and urban communities. Oropouche virus infection was significantly associated with older age (P = 0.04) in the rural community (P < 0.001). These data support prior evidence of ORO viral infection among residents of Iquitos and surrounding villages and suggest that transmission of this virus occurs continuously in the population of this area of the Amazon basin.