• View in gallery
    Figure 1.

    CHIKV phylogenetic tree. ML tree of 39 CHIKV strains based in the E1 protein fragment of 1,782 nucleotides. The three major viral lineages and the Indian Ocean and Caribbean clades are shown, and Panamanian strains are bold. Virus labels include country of isolation, strain designation, and year of isolation. The evolutionary relationships were undertaken with the GTR + G model. Bootstrap values are shown in major branches. Evolutionary analyses were conducted in MEGA 6.13

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    Kariuki Njenga M, Nderitu L, Ledermann JP, Ndirangu A, Logue CH, Kelly CH, Sang R, Sergon K, Breiman R, Powers AM, 2008. Tracking epidemic Chikungunya virus into the Indian Ocean from East Africa. J Gen Virol 89: 27542760.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Volk SM, Chen R, Tsetsarkin KA, Adams AP, Garcia TI, Sall AA, Nasar F, Schuh AJ, Holmes EC, Higgs S, Maharaj PD, Brault AC, Weaver SC, 2010. Genome-scale phylogenetic analyses of Chikungunya virus reveal independent emergences of recent epidemics and various evolutionary rates. J Virol 84: 64976504.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Tsetsarkin KA, Weaver SC, 2011. Sequential adaptative mutantions enhance efficient vector switching by Chikungunya virus and its epidemic emergence. PLoS Pathog 7: e1002412.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    de Lamballerie X, Leroy E, Charrel RN, Ttsetsarkin K, Higgs S, Gould EA, 2008. Chikungunya virus adapts to tiger mosquito via evolutionary convergence: a sign of things to come? Virol J 5: 33.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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    Dash PK, Parida MM, Santhosh SR, Verma SK, Tripathi NK, Ambuj NK, Saxena S, Gupta P, Chaudhary N, Babu M, Lakshmi JP, Mamidi V, Subhalaxmi N, Lakshmana MVS, Rao PV, Sekhar K, 2007. East Central South African genotype as the causative agent in reemergence of Chikungunya outbreak in India, 2008. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 7: 519527.

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    Parola P, de Lamballerie X, Jourdan J, Rovery C, Vaillant V, Minodier P, Brouqui P, Flahault A, Raoult D, Charrel RN, 2006. Novel Chikungunya virus variant in travelers returning from Indian Ocean islands. Emerg Infect Dis 12: 14931499.

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    • Search Google Scholar
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Chikungunya Virus Infection: First Detection of Imported and Autochthonous Cases in Panama

Yamilka DíazDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Jean-Paul CarreraDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Lizbeth CerezoDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Dimelza ArauzDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Ilka GuerraDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Julio CisnerosDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Blas ArmiénDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Ana Margarita BotelloDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Ana Belén AraúzDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Vladimir GonzalezDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Yamileth LópezDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Lourdes MorenoDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Sandra López-VergèsDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Brechla A. MorenoDepartments of Research in Virology and Biotechnology and Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama; School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama; National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama; Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama; Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama; Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama

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Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that was only endemic in Africa and south Asia until 2005 and 2006, when the virus spread into the Indian Ocean islands, Europe, and Asia. Autochthonous CHIKV transmission in the Caribbean islands was reported in December of 2013. In Panama, two febrile cases were detected in May of 2014: one traveling from Haiti, and the other traveling from the Dominican Republic. After other imported cases were detected, the first autochthonous case was reported in August of the same year. We detected CHIKV viral RNA and isolated the virus from serum samples. The phylogenetic analysis of the two imported isolates and one autochthonous CHIKV isolate indicated that the viruses belong to the Asian lineage in the Caribbean clade and are related to viruses recently identified in Saint Martin island, British Virgin Islands, China, and the Philippines. Although the circulating CHIKV lineages in the Americas have not yet been described, our results suggest that the Asian lineage is circulating in most American countries reporting autochthonous infection.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV; Alphavirus, Togaviridae) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that is endemic in Africa and some countries in Asia. In 2004, a CHIKV epidemic in costal Kenya was reported, and by 2005 and 2006, CHIKV had spread to the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion as well as Asia, where it caused major epidemics. Several imported cases were reported in Europe and the Americas.1 Three mayor lineages of CHIKV have been described: the east, central and south African (ECSA) lineage, the west African lineage, and the Asian lineage.2 A single mutation in the ECSA strain allowed the emergence of the Indian Ocean outbreak lineage (IOL) because of the increase of viral infectivity, dissemination, and transmission of CHIKV in Aedes albopictus.3,4 The IOL has been related to the explosive CHIKV epidemics in the Indian Ocean and Asia and autochthonous infections in Italy and the south of France as well as several imported cases into the Americas.2,5 Therefore, it was believed that the IOL of CHIKV would reach the Americas,6 where the two vectors Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus have an overlapping distribution7 and adapt to cause autochthonous infection. Autochthonous CHIKV infections caused by the Asian lineage were reported in December of 2013 on the French island of Saint Martin and spread to several others Caribbean islands and Latin American countries in 2014.8,9 Here, we report the detection of imported cases of CHIKV in Panama and the establishment of autochthonous infections as well as the results of the genetic characterization of the CHIKV viral strains.

On May 13 and 14, 2014, two suspected cases of Chikungunya fever were detected in two public medical facilities in Panama City, Panama. The first patient (256114) was a 23-year-old male with the following travel history: Brazil to Haiti to Panama to Brazil. The day before his travel to Haiti from Rio de Janeiro (May 6), he presented fever, myalgia, and general malaise; he later progressively improved. After 5 days in Haiti, he presented with the symptoms described in Table 1. The patient attended Santo Tomás Hospital on May 13 during a 24-hour layover in Panama City. The second patient (256137) was a 58-year-old female who was traveling from the Dominican Republic to Panama. She presented general malaise days before her arrival to Panama (Table 1). On May 12, this patient was seen by a physician at the Panama Airport Clinic; 2 days later, she was also seen by a physician at Parque Lefevre Health Center in Panama City.

Table 1

General and clinical information about the two first imported cases and the first autochthonous case of Chikungunya fever

Patient Age (years) Sex Travel history Symptoms Laboratory hemogram findings Laboratory chemistry findings
256114 23 Male Brazil and Haiti Fever, myalgia, headache, nausea, vomiting, skin rash* WBCs at 4,900/μL, neutrophils at 79%, linfopenia of 600/μL, platelets at 162,000/μL, hemoglobin in 14.7 g/dL Creatinine in 1 mg/dL; normal: electrolytes and hepatic function
256137 58 Female The Dominican Republic Fever, headache, joint pain, eupnoea Hemoglobin at 11.2, hematocrit at 34.5%, WBCs at 4,410 μL, neutrophils at 73%, platelets at 250,000 Not done
256619 26 Male Autochthonous Fever, chills, severe headache, retro-orbital pain, severe myalgia, severe arthralgia, nausea, vomiting Hemoglobin at 14.6 g/dL, hematocrit at 44.5%, lymphocytes at 13.1% Not done

WBC = white blood cell.

For patient 256114, only the symptoms suspected to be related to his CHIKV infection and not the symptoms from DENV infection in Brazil are presented.

After detection of the two first imported cases, the Panamanian Ministry of Health implemented active surveillance of patients with febrile disease that arrived from the countries with confirmed CHIKV circulation. Despite the effort to detect imported cases and contain the establishment of an autochthonous infection, the first autochthonous case was reported in Panama on August 18, 2014. This case was a 26-year-old male (256619) without history of travel who presented the symptoms described in Table 1.

Sera samples from patients were sent to Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies for Dengue and Chikungunya fever diagnostics. Samples were tested first using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) specific for Dengue virus (DENV)10 and then, for CHIKV non structural proteins nsp 2 and 4 gene.11,12 Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies were detected with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for both viruses.13

The samples from these three cases were RT-PCR DENV-negative and CHIKV-positive. The patient from Brazil and Haiti (256114) also had positive IgM for Dengue. Autochthonous CHIKV infection was not reported in Brazil at that time, and a Chikungunya epidemic was occurring in Haiti.14,15 The diagnostic results suggest that this patient had most likely first contracted Dengue in Brazil and then, had a second infection with CHIKV in Haiti. However, we cannot confirm this hypothesis; Dengue IgM response can last up to 3 months. The acute sera should have been tested by viral isolation or RT-PCR, but it was not available.

Virus was isolated from sera using Vero cells (ATCC, Bethesda, MD) maintained with media medium essential minimum (MEM) 1% fetal bovine serum (FBS)/1% penicilline/streptomicine (P/S) and observed for 5 days for cytopathic effects (CPEs). Samples were inoculated two times for CPE confirmation. When the CPEs were evident, RNA was extracted using the QIAamp RNA Viral Extraction Kit (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) and tested using alphavirus genus-specific RT-PCRs.16 Amplicons generated were purified directly using the Qiaquick PCR Purification Kit (Qiagen, Germany) and sequenced in both directions with the RT-PCR primers using an Applied Biosystems (Foster City, CA) 410 Genetic Analyzer following the manufacturer's protocols. After its identification using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) Software, CHIKV RT-PCR–specific reactions for the entire E1 gene and primer-walking sequencing were performed (primer sequences for RT-PCR and sequencing were provided by Scott Weaver and Rubing Cheng). Consensus sequences covering the structural E1 gene of the CHIKV isolates were aligned with 36 representative homologous sequences from the GenBank library and The European Virus Archive using the MUSCLE program amino acids and then returned to nucleotides to conserve codon homology.17 An optimal maximum likelihood (ML) tree was then generated using a heuristic search, and the evolutionary relationships were undertaken with the general time reversible + gamma distribution (GTR + G) model. One hundred bootstrap replicates were calculated. Similar tree topologies and evolutionary relationships were observed with the optimal ML tree for E1 (Figure 1) or the neighbor-joining tree for nsp4 (data not shown). Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using MEGA*, version 6.18

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

CHIKV phylogenetic tree. ML tree of 39 CHIKV strains based in the E1 protein fragment of 1,782 nucleotides. The three major viral lineages and the Indian Ocean and Caribbean clades are shown, and Panamanian strains are bold. Virus labels include country of isolation, strain designation, and year of isolation. The evolutionary relationships were undertaken with the GTR + G model. Bootstrap values are shown in major branches. Evolutionary analyses were conducted in MEGA 6.13

Citation: The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 92, 3; 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0404

During December of 2013, the French government detected autochthonous transmission of CHIKV on the French island of Saint Martin. It was shown that the isolated strains from Saint Martin were from the Asian lineage and not from the IOL,8 which was previously expected. The Chikungunya outbreak in the Americas began on the Saint Martin island and spread until November of 2014 to several French Caribbean islands and the Caribbean islands, including the Caymans, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the US Virgin Islands, as well as Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.19

Here, we report the first two imported cases and the first autochthonous case of Chikungunya fever in Panama. One of the imported cases also had a probable sequential dengue infection. The clinical findings of CHIKV imported and autochthonous cases detected in Panama are consistent with previous reports.20,21

The Panamanian isolates 256114 and 256137 from the imported cases and 256619 from the autochthonous case occupy the Asian lineage in the Caribbean clade (Figure 1) and are closely related to strains identified in the British Virgin Islands (BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS/99659/2014) and Saint Martin (St. Martin/H20235/2013). Panamanian strains are nearly identical to these strains, and a single synonymous mutation in the E1 gene of the strain 256119 was found; no mutation of adaptation of others vectors was found. These strains are related to isolates from Asia that circulated in 2012 and 2013 in the state of Yap of Micronesia (MICRONESIA/3807/2013 and MICRONESIA/3462/2013), China (CHINA/JC2012/2012 and CHINA/chik-sy/2012), and the Philippines (PHILIPPINES/13-112A/2013).

The circulating lineages in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the rest of the Americas have not been yet described.9 Our results suggest that the Asian lineage is circulating in most countries in the Americas that have confirmed autochthonous circulation of CHIKV. Both principal vectors of CHIKV are present in Panama, with a prevalence of Ae. aegypti in urban areas and with a prevalence of Ae. albopictus in rural areas (Valderrama-Cumbrera A, personal communication). Panamanian mosquito strains from both species are able to transmit with high efficacy the CHIKV IOL and the Asian lineages.7

At the time of publication, 29 imported and 21 autochthonous cases were reported in Panama (Ministry of Health). Interestingly, the expected explosive profile of CHIKV epidemics observed in other regions has not yet been seen in Panama. More studies are being conducted to understand differences in the epidemics. The results may underline the importance of an effective vector control program, early case detection, and differential diagnosis with other fever illness. Taken together, our results support the hypothesis that a single CHIKV strain introduction of Asian genotype on the Caribbean islands later spread to other Latin American countries.22 However, with continuous human travel, migration, and commercial trade, the introduction of other Asian CHIKV strains or genotypes could threaten areas were both vectors are present.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

For scientific advice, we thank Néstor Sosa, Juan Miguel Pascale, Scott Weaver, Rubing Cheng, Robert Tesh, and Leticia Franco. For technical support, we thank Juan M. Castillo, José Valenzuela, Yarisel Rodriguez, and Maria Aneth Atencio. We thank Amanda Gabster for English revision of the manuscript.

  • 1.

    Kariuki Njenga M, Nderitu L, Ledermann JP, Ndirangu A, Logue CH, Kelly CH, Sang R, Sergon K, Breiman R, Powers AM, 2008. Tracking epidemic Chikungunya virus into the Indian Ocean from East Africa. J Gen Virol 89: 27542760.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Volk SM, Chen R, Tsetsarkin KA, Adams AP, Garcia TI, Sall AA, Nasar F, Schuh AJ, Holmes EC, Higgs S, Maharaj PD, Brault AC, Weaver SC, 2010. Genome-scale phylogenetic analyses of Chikungunya virus reveal independent emergences of recent epidemics and various evolutionary rates. J Virol 84: 64976504.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Tsetsarkin KA, Weaver SC, 2011. Sequential adaptative mutantions enhance efficient vector switching by Chikungunya virus and its epidemic emergence. PLoS Pathog 7: e1002412.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    de Lamballerie X, Leroy E, Charrel RN, Ttsetsarkin K, Higgs S, Gould EA, 2008. Chikungunya virus adapts to tiger mosquito via evolutionary convergence: a sign of things to come? Virol J 5: 33.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Dash PK, Parida MM, Santhosh SR, Verma SK, Tripathi NK, Ambuj NK, Saxena S, Gupta P, Chaudhary N, Babu M, Lakshmi JP, Mamidi V, Subhalaxmi N, Lakshmana MVS, Rao PV, Sekhar K, 2007. East Central South African genotype as the causative agent in reemergence of Chikungunya outbreak in India, 2008. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 7: 519527.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Parola P, de Lamballerie X, Jourdan J, Rovery C, Vaillant V, Minodier P, Brouqui P, Flahault A, Raoult D, Charrel RN, 2006. Novel Chikungunya virus variant in travelers returning from Indian Ocean islands. Emerg Infect Dis 12: 14931499.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Vega-Rúa A, Zouache K, Girod R, Failloux AB, Lourenço-de-Oliveira R, 2014. High level of vector competence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus from ten American countries as a crucial factor in the spread of Chikungunya virus. J Virol 88: 62946306.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Leparc-Goffart I, Nougairede A, Cassadou S, Prat C, de Lamballerie X, 2014. Chikungunya in the Americas. Lancet 383: 514.

  • 9.

    Van Bortel W, Dorleans F, Rosine J, Blateau A, Rousset D, Matheus S, Leparc-Goffart I, Flusin O, Prat CM, Césaire R, Najioullah F, Ardillon V, Balleydier E, Carvalho L, Lemaítre A, Noël H, Servas V, Six C, Zurbaran M, Léon L, Guinard A, van den Kerkhof J, Henry M, Fanoy E, Braks M, Reimerink J, Swaan C, Georges R, Brooks L, Freedman J, Sudre B, Zeller H, 2014. Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean region, December 2013 to March 2014, and the significance for Europe. Euro Surveill 19: 20759.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Santiago GA, Vergne E, Quiles Y, Cosme J, Vázquez J, Medina JF, Medina F, Colón C, Margolis H, Muñoz-Jordán JL, 2013. Analytical and clinical performance of the CDC real time RT-PCR assay for detection and typing of dengue virus. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7: e23.

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    • Export Citation
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    Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2007. Update: Chikungunya fever diagnosed among international travelers–United States, 2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 56: 276277.

    • Search Google Scholar
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Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Brechla A. Moreno, Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Justo Arosemena Avenue, 35th, Panama City 0816-02593, Panama. E-mail: bmoreno@gorgas.gob.pa
† Theses authors contributed equally.

Financial support: This study received financial support from the surveillance program of the Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology. J.-P.C. is paid by Columbus University Contract CU-VIP-P-003-2014; S.L.-V. is paid by Secretaría Nacional de Ciencias, Tecnología e Inovación Panamá (SENACYT) Contract 71-2012-4-CAP11-003.

Authors' addresses: Yamilka Díaz, Dimelza Arauz, Ilka Guerra, Julio Cisneros, Sandra López-Vergès, and Brechla A. Moreno, Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama, E-mails: yamilkavirus@gmail.com, dimarauz@gmail.com, ilkaguerra@yahoo.com, jygcisneros@cwpanama.net, lvsandral@gmail.com, and bmoreno@gorgas.gob.pa. Jean-Paul Carrera, Department of Research in Virology and Biotechnology, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama, and School of Medicine, Columbus University, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: jean1450@gmail.com. Lizbeth Cerezo, Ana Margarita Botello, and Lourdes Moreno, National Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Panama City, Panama, E-mails: cerezolizbeth@gmail.com, anmbo@yahoo.com.mx, and lmorenocastillo@yahoo.com. Blas Armién, Department of Research in Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: blasarmien@yahoo.com.mx. Ana Belén Arauz, Division of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Santo Tomas, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: anabelenarauz@gmail.com. Vladimir Gonzalez, Policentro de Parque Lefevre, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: drvagg@hotmail.com. Yamileth López, Centro de Salud de Rio Abajo, Panama City, Panama, E-mail: yamilopez11@hotmail.com.

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