Over the past decade, the Pacific region has experienced many arboviral outbreaks, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses. Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a high burden of arboviral diseases, but there is a paucity of knowledge about the epidemiology and circulation of these viruses in the country. In this study, we report investigations into suspected arboviral outbreaks of febrile disease in PNG from December 2015 to June 2017. DENV-1 and DENV-2 were the mostly commonly detected viruses, and low circulation of DENV-3 and ZIKV was also detected. DENV-4 and CHIKV were not detected during this period. Full genome sequencing of selected positive samples revealed that circulation was dominated by endemic indigenous strains belonging to DENV-1 (genotype IV) and DENV-2 (genotype C) that have been present in the country for up to a decade. A DENV-2 sublineage was also identified that has been associated with outbreaks of severe dengue in both PNG and the Solomon Islands.
Address correspondence to Paul F. Horwood, College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com David T. Williams, CSIRO, Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Private Bag 24, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia, E-mail: D.Williams@csiro.au
These senior authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors’ addresses: Marinjho Jonduo, Sarah Javati, William Pomat, and Mohammad Yazid Abdad, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Infection and Immunity, Goroka, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Matthew J. Neave, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, Geelong, Australia, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Dorothy Abala, Anthony Kini, and Janlyn Kunbu, Central Public Health Laboratory, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, E-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com. Eric Biloh, Port Moresby General Hospital, Pathology, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Moses Laman, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Vector Borne Unit, Madang, Madang, Papua New Guina, and University of Western Australia, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle, Australia, E-mail: email@example.com. Leanne J. Robinson, Burnet Institute, Disease Elimination Program, Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Population Health and Immunity, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Leo Makita and Melinda Susapu, Government of Papua New Guinea National Department of Health, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea, E-mails: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Paul Horwood, James Cook University, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine James Cook University, Cairns, Australia, E-mail: email@example.com.