Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 7408

Special Issue Editors


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Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Brandenburg Medical School Fontane, Senftenberg Site, B-TU Campus, Building 15, Universitaetsplatz 1, D-01968 Senftenberg, Germany
Interests: viruses; emerging diseases; molecular epidemiology; mobile molecular diagnostics; point-of-care tests
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Department of Virology, Medicum, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 21 (Haartmaninkatu 3), 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Interests: ecology and epidemiology of zoonotic viruses; virus discovery; virus-host interactions, pathogenesis, and diagnostics of emerging infections
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Limited resources, climate change, and close co-existence with both domestic and wild animals, together with high biodiversity and increasing populations make the African continent a hotspot for vector-borne and zoonotic viral diseases, which may spread globally as the current worldwide surge of MPXV shows. This is not a singular event and was preceded by earlier episodes of West Nile virus (WNVI-I 1999 Europe and Americas, WNV II 2004 Europe) and Chikungunya virus (2004–2008 Indian Ocean region and South-East Asia) and has also been observed for livestock infections such as Bluetongue virus (2006–2008 in Europe), African swine fever virus (2007–ongoing in Eastern Europe), and Avian influenza in Europe (2021–ongoing).

A recent systematic review on the available information on viral diseases reported in Africa urgently recommended “active surveillance of viral diseases and strict implementation of One Health measures in Africa to improve human public health and reduce the possibility of potential pandemics due to zoonotic viruses”. Another review on the influence of climate change on the spread of pathogens listed the following factors: facilitating contacts between people and pathogens, improved climate suitability for reproduction, acceleration of the life cycle, increasing seasons/length of likely exposure, enhancing pathogen–vector interactions and increased virulence as main factors. It is therefore evident that the likelihood of emerging and re-emerging diseases moving out of Africa is very high.

In this Special Issue, we therefore welcome submissions targeting this field and want to give young African researchers, especially those working on vector-borne diseases, a platform to publish their most recent work in the areas listed below.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Weidmann
Prof. Dr. Olli Vapalahti
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • vector(arthropod)-borne viral diseases
  • outbreak reports
  • virus isolation and characterisation
  • molecular epidemiological studies
  • epidemiological surveillance
  • pathogen–vector interactions
  • mobile diagnostics for emerging and re-emerging diseases

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 2212 KiB  
Article
Emergence of Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus in Eastern Senegal in 2022
by Ousseynou Sene, Samba Niang Sagne, Déthié Ngom, Moussa Moise Diagne, Aminata Badji, Aliou Khoulé, El Hadji Ndiaye, Safietou Sankhe, Cheikh Loucoubar, Mawlouth Diallo, Manfred Weidmann, Ndongo Dia, Etienne Simon-Lorière, Yoro Sall, Boly Diop, Mamadou Ndiaye, Anavaj Sakuntabhai, Amadou Alpha Sall, Ousmane Faye, Oumar Faye, Diawo Diallo, Mamadou Aliou Barry and Gamou Falladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020315 - 19 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), the most widespread tick-borne viral human infection, poses a threat to global health. In this study, clinical samples collected through national surveillance systems were screened for acute CCHF virus (CCHFV) infection using RT-PCR and for exposure using ELISA. For [...] Read more.
Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), the most widespread tick-borne viral human infection, poses a threat to global health. In this study, clinical samples collected through national surveillance systems were screened for acute CCHF virus (CCHFV) infection using RT-PCR and for exposure using ELISA. For any CCHF-positive sample, livestock and tick samples were also collected in the neighborhood of the confirmed case and tested using ELISA and RT-PCR, respectively. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses were also performed on samples with positive RT-PCR results. In Eastern Senegal, two human cases and one Hyalomma tick positive for CCHF were identified and a seroprevalence in livestock ranging from 9.33% to 45.26% was detected. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that the human strain belonged to genotype I based on the available L segment. However, the tick strain showed a reassortant profile, with the L and M segments belonging to genotype I and the S segment belonging to genotype III. Our data also showed that our strains clustered with strains isolated in different countries, including Mauritania. Therefore, our findings confirmed the high genetic variability inside the CCHF genotypes and their introduction to Senegal from other countries. They also indicate an increasing CCHF threat in Senegal and emphasize the need to reinforce surveillance using a one-health approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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7 pages, 1726 KiB  
Communication
Genomic Characterization of a Bataï Orthobunyavirus, Previously Classified as Ilesha Virus, from Field-Caught Mosquitoes in Senegal, Bandia 1969
by Cheikh Talibouya Toure, Idrissa Dieng, Safietou Sankhe, Mouhamed Kane, Moussa Dia, Moufid Mhamadi, Mignane Ndiaye, Ousmane Faye, Amadou Alpha Sall, Moussa Moise Diagne and Oumar Faye
Viruses 2024, 16(2), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16020261 - 6 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Bataï virus (BATV), belonging to the Orthobunyavirus genus, is an emerging mosquito-borne virus with documented cases in Asia, Europe, and Africa. It causes various symptoms in humans and ruminants. Another related virus is Ilesha virus (ILEV), which causes a range of diseases in [...] Read more.
Bataï virus (BATV), belonging to the Orthobunyavirus genus, is an emerging mosquito-borne virus with documented cases in Asia, Europe, and Africa. It causes various symptoms in humans and ruminants. Another related virus is Ilesha virus (ILEV), which causes a range of diseases in humans and is mainly found in African countries. This study aimed to genetically identify and characterize a BATV strain previously misclassified as ILEV in Senegal. The strain was reactivated and subjected to whole genome sequencing using an Illumina-based approach. Genetic analyses and phylogeny were performed to assess the evolutionary relationships. Genomic analyses revealed a close similarity between the Senegal strain and the BATV strains UgMP-6830 from Uganda. The genetic distances indicated high homology. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the Senegal strain’s clustering with BATV. This study corrects the misclassification, confirming the presence of BATV in West Africa. This research represents the first evidence of BATV circulation in West Africa, underscoring the importance of genomic approaches in virus classification. Retrospective sequencing is crucial for reevaluating strains and identifying potential public health threats among neglected viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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15 pages, 1388 KiB  
Article
Emerging Zoonotic Diseases among Pastoral Communities of Caia and Búzi Districts, Sofala, Mozambique: Evidence of Antibodies against Brucella, Leptospira, Rickettsia, and Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus
by John Oludele, Pascoal Alho, Inocêncio Chongo, Plácida Maholela, Vlademiro Magaia, Argentina Muianga, Bibiana Melchior, Telma Isaías, Aline Gatambire, Edna Zimba, Emídio Nhavoto, Paulo Notiço, Pedro Inguana, Juma Cantoria, Virgílio António, Vanessa Monteiro, Sádia Ali, Osvaldo Inlamea and Eduardo Samo Gudo
Viruses 2023, 15(12), 2379; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15122379 - 4 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1063
Abstract
Background: Emerging zoonotic diseases are an increasing threat to public health. There is little data on the seroprevalence of zoonotic diseases among pastoralists in the country. We aim to carry out a cross-sectional study on the prevalence of major zoonotic diseases among pastoral [...] Read more.
Background: Emerging zoonotic diseases are an increasing threat to public health. There is little data on the seroprevalence of zoonotic diseases among pastoralists in the country. We aim to carry out a cross-sectional study on the prevalence of major zoonotic diseases among pastoral communities in the Caia and Búzi districts. Methods: Between January and December 2018, a questionnaire was used to solicit socio-demographic data from consenting pastoralists with the collection of blood samples in the Caia and Búzi districts of the Sofala province. All samples were tested using ELISA commercial reagents for the detection of IgM antibodies against Brucella and Leptospira. Likewise, IgM and IgG antibodies against Rickettsia and CCHFV were determined using ELISA kits. Results: A total of 218 samples were tested, of which 43.5% (95/218) were from the district of Caia and 56.4% (123/218) from the Búzi district. Results from both districts showed that the seroprevalence of IgM antibodies against Brucella and Leptospira was 2.7% (6/218) and 30.3% (67/218), respectively. Positivity rates for IgM and IgG anti-Rickettsia and CCHFV were 8.7% (19/218), 2.7% (6/218), 4.1% (9/218), and 0.9% (2/218), respectively. Conclusions: Results from our study showed evidence of antibodies due to exposure to Brucella, Leptospira, Rickettsia, and CCHFV with antibodies against Leptospira and Rickettsia being the most prevalent. Hence, laboratory diagnosis of zoonotic diseases is essential in the early detection of outbreaks, the identification of silent transmission, and the etiology of non-febrile illness in a pastoral community. There is a need to develop public health interventions that will reduce the risk of transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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15 pages, 7064 KiB  
Article
Ecological Niche Modeling of Aedes and Culex Mosquitoes: A Risk Map for Chikungunya and West Nile Viruses in Zambia
by Rachel Milomba Velu, Geoffrey Kwenda, Samuel Bosomprah, Moses Ngongo Chisola, Michelo Simunyandi, Caroline Cleopatra Chisenga, Flavien Nsoni Bumbangi, Nicholus Chintu Sande, Limonty Simubali, Monicah Mirai Mburu, John Tembo, Matthew Bates, Martin Chitolongo Simuunza, Roma Chilengi, Yasuko Orba, Hirofumi Sawa and Edgar Simulundu
Viruses 2023, 15(9), 1900; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15091900 - 8 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1332
Abstract
The circulation of both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in humans and animals, coupled with a favorable tropical climate for mosquito proliferation in Zambia, call for the need for a better understanding of the ecological and epidemiological factors that govern [...] Read more.
The circulation of both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) in humans and animals, coupled with a favorable tropical climate for mosquito proliferation in Zambia, call for the need for a better understanding of the ecological and epidemiological factors that govern their transmission dynamics in this region. This study aimed to examine the contribution of climatic variables to the distribution of Culex and Aedes mosquito species, which are potential vectors of CHIKV, WNV, and other arboviruses of public-health concern. Mosquitoes collected from Lusaka as well as from the Central and Southern provinces of Zambia were sorted by species within the Culex and Aedes genera, both of which have the potential to transmit viruses. The MaxEnt software was utilized to predict areas at risk of WNV and CHIKV based on the occurrence data on mosquitoes and environmental covariates. The model predictions show three distinct spatial hotspots, ranging from the high-probability regions to the medium- and low-probability regions. Regions along Lake Kariba, the Kafue River, and the Luangwa Rivers, as well as along the Mumbwa, Chibombo, Kapiri Mposhi, and Mpika districts were predicted to be suitable habitats for both species. The rainfall and temperature extremes were the most contributing variables in the predictive models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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12 pages, 973 KiB  
Article
Seroprevalence of IgG Antibodies Directed against Dengue, Chikungunya and West Nile Viruses and Associated Risk Factors in Madagascar, 2011 to 2013
by Anaïs Broban, Marie-Marie Olive, Michael Luciano Tantely, Anne-Claire Dorsemans, Fanjasoa Rakotomanana, Jean-Pierre Ravalohery, Christophe Rogier, Jean-Michel Heraud and Soa Fy Andriamandimby
Viruses 2023, 15(8), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081707 - 8 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1496
Abstract
Arboviruses have been shown to circulate in Madagascar, including West Nile, dengue, and chikungunya viruses, though the extent of their circulation remains poorly documented. We estimated the seroprevalence of these three arboviruses in Madagascar and determined risk factors associated with seropositivity. Serum samples [...] Read more.
Arboviruses have been shown to circulate in Madagascar, including West Nile, dengue, and chikungunya viruses, though the extent of their circulation remains poorly documented. We estimated the seroprevalence of these three arboviruses in Madagascar and determined risk factors associated with seropositivity. Serum samples obtained from 1680 individuals surrounding the Sentinel Health Centers network in all regions of the country were analyzed using ELISA and hemagglutination inhibition assays for dengue, chikungunya, and West Nile viruses IgG antibodies, and multivariate logistic regression models were run. Overall, 6.5% [IC 95% 3.2–9.9] were seropositive for dengue virus, predominantly of Dengue serotype 1, 13.7% [IC 95% 6.5–20.9] for chikungunya virus, and 12.7% [IC 95% 9.0–16.5] for West Nile virus. There was no association with age, showing that dengue and chikungunya viruses were likely recently introduced. Eastern and Northern parts were more affected by dengue and chikungunya viruses, while West Nile virus seemed to circulate in all parts of the country. Dengue and chikungunya seropositivity were notably associated with high levels of vegetation, as well as frequent work in the forest, and West Nile seropositivity with the presence of cultivated areas, as well as standard of living. This analysis gives a new insight into arboviruses circulation and transmission patterns in Madagascar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Vector Borne Viruses in Africa)
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