Molecular Detection of Human Herpes Viruses in Suspected Measles Serum Samples from Senegal, 2014 to 2017

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  • 1 Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Unité de Virologie Médicale, Dakar, Sénégal;
  • 2 Ecole supérieure des Sciences Agricoles et de l’Alimentation, Université Amadou Makhtar MBOW, Dakar, Sénégal;
  • 3 Division surveillance épidémiologique et riposte vaccinale du ministère de la Santé et de l’action sociale, Dakar, Sénégal

Herpesviruses are known to cause a diversity of clinical syndromes, ranging from minor cutaneous lesions to life-threatening illnesses, especially in immunocompromised hosts. Here, we investigate retrospectively the contribution of five human herpesviruses, including herpes simplex virus Cytomegalovirus (CMV), the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6, and varicella zoster virus (VZV) in serum samples collected from measles suspected patients with at least fever and rash. Sera specimens were first tested for serological evidence of measles and rubella virus infection by ELISA, and DNA extracted from an aliquot of each clinical specimen for molecular detection of human herpes viruses by RT-qPCR. A total of 3,358 specimens have been collected and tested for herpes viruses. Nearly half of the overall suspected cases were children younger than 5 years (49.4%). Of the 3,358 sera tested by ELISA, 227 (6.7%) were measles laboratory confirmed and 152 (4.5%) rubella laboratory confirmed. Herpes viruses were detected in 1763 (52.5%), and VZV was the most common with 44.3%, followed by EBV with 10.7%. Coinfections were found in 352 (20%) cases, and the most common co-detections were VZV/EBV or VZV/CMV (169 and 81 cases, respectively). A clear seasonal pattern of VZV, EBV, and CMV identification was observed, with the highest incidence between February and April each year. Results of this investigation provide more insights into cutaneous rash syndrome etiologies in patients sampled in the framework of measles/rubella surveillance in Senegal, which is useful for the guidance of both case definition revision and clinical practice as well as for public health policy.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Ndongo Dia, Institut Pasteur Dakar, Unité de Virologie Médicale, 36 Ave. Pasteur B.P. 220, Dakar, Senegal. E-mail: ndia@pasteur.sn

Financial support: This study was financed by IPD own funds.

Authors’ addresses: Mamadou Malado Jallow, Amary Fall, Ndeye Sophie Fall, Davy Kiori, Sara Sy, Bacary Djilocalisse Sadio, Yague Diaw, Déborah Goudiaby, Mbayame Ndiaye Niang, and Ndongo Dia, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Unité de Virologie Médicale, Dakar, Sénégal, E-mails: mamadoumalado.jallow@pasteur.sn, amary.fall@pasteur.sn, safiefall@gmail.com, davy.kiori@pasteur.sn, sara.sy@pasteur.sn, bacary.sadlo@pasteur.sn, yague.diaw@pasteur.sn, deborah.goudiaby@pasteur.sn, mbndiaye2002@gmail.com, and ndia@pasteur.sn. Serigne Fallou Wade, Ecole supérieure des Sciences Agricoles et de l’Alimentation, Université Amadou Makhtar MBOW, Dakar, Sénégal, E-mail: serigne.wade@uam.edu.sn. Boly Diop, Division surveillance épidémiologique et riposte vaccinale du ministère de la Santé et de l’action sociale, Dakar, Sénégal, E-mail: diopboly@yahoo.fr.

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