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Open AccessAbstract

Zika Virus Epidemiology in Selected West African Countries between 2007 and 2012

1
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy
2
VisMederi srl, Siena 53100, Italy
3
PATH, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
4
Department of Medical Biotechnologies, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
5
Centre for Vaccine Development (CVD), Bamako BP 251, Mali
6
IRD, VITROME, Dakar BP 1386 CP 18524, Senegal
7
Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Banjul P.O. Box 273, The Gambia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at Viruses 2020—Novel Concepts in Virology, Barcelona, Spain, 5–7 February 2020.
Proceedings 2020, 50(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2020050100
Published: 24 June 2020
Before its recent spread, serological investigations conducted between the 1960s and the 1990s showed the wide presence of Zika virus in Africa. According to the World Health Organization, the entire Africa continent is at risk of Zika outbreak due to the presence of the virus, competent vectors, and the low capacity for surveillance and containment of an epidemic. However, limited data are available on the recent prevalence in the African population. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immunity against Zika virus in samples of a selected cohort from West Africa, in order to investigate the circulation of the virus in the region during the first years of its emergence in the Pacific. Human serum samples were collected in 2007 and between 2011 and 2012 from a cohort of subjects from Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia. The samples were tested using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detection kit and positives were further confirmed by microneutralization test. The results indicate that Zika virus is present and actively circulating in Senegal and The Gambia, with prevalence values of 13.7% and 6.9% in 2012, respectively. Although no significant differences in prevalence were found for the considered time period, seroconversion of some subjects showed the active circulation of Zika virus in the West African area. Analysis by age showed an increase in immunity in relation to increasing age, demonstrating that the population is consistently exposed to the virus throughout life and with a high possibility of being infected during reproductive age. In conclusion, the obtained results allow for better knowledge of the circulation of Zika virus within three different ecological and demographic contexts, and represent an update to the limited data currently available.
Keywords: Zika virus; seroprevalence; Africa Zika virus; seroprevalence; Africa
MDPI and ACS Style

Marchi, S.; Viviani, S.; Montomoli, E.; Tang, Y.; Boccuto, A.; Vicenti, I.; Zazzi, M.; Sow, S.; Diallo, A.; Idoko, O.T.; Bhat, N.; Trombetta, C.M. Zika Virus Epidemiology in Selected West African Countries between 2007 and 2012. Proceedings 2020, 50, 100.

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