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SEROPREVALENCE AND DISTRIBUTION OF FLAVIVIRIDAE, TOGAVIRIDAE, AND BUNYAVIRIDAE ARBOVIRAL INFECTIONS IN RURAL CAMEROONIAN ADULTS

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  • 1 Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Disease, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colorado; Army Health Research Center, Yaounde, Cameroon; Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

Arboviruses from the families Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, and Bunyaviridae are suspected to cause widespread morbidity in sub-Saharan African populations, but little research been done to document the burden and distribution of these pathogens. We tested serum samples from 256 Cameroonian adults from nine rural villages for the presence of Dengue-2 (DEN-2), West Nile (WN), Yellow fever (YF), Chikungunya (CHIK), O’nyong-nyong (ONN), Sindbis (SIN), and Tahyna (TAH) infection using standard plaque–reduction neutralization tests (PRNT). Of these samples, 12.5% were DEN-2 positive, 6.6% were WN positive, 26.9% were YF positive, 46.5% were CHIK seropositive, 47.7% were ONN positive, 7.8% were SIN positive, and 36.3% were TAH positive. DEN-2, YF, and CHIK seroprevalence rates were lower among individuals living in dwellings with grass or thatched roofs versus corrugated tin and in villages isolated from urban centers. Seroprevalence rates of YF and CHIK increased with age. These results suggest that inter-epidemic arboviral infection is common in central African populations.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Mark H. Kuniholm, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21205. E-mail: mkunihol@jhsph.edu.
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