Serologic evidence of zoonotic alphaviruses in humans from an indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon

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Pérez, Jocelyn G.
Carrera, Jean-Paul
Serrano, Emmanuel
Pittí, Yaneth
Maguiña, Jorge L.
Mentaberre, Gregorio
Lescano, Andrés G.
Valderrama, Anayansi
Mayor, Pedro
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American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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Alphaviruses (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) are arthropod-borne single-stranded RNA pathogens that cause febrile and neurologic disease in much of Latin America. However, many features of Alphavirus epidemiology remain unknown. In 2011, we undertook a cross-sectional study in Nueva Esperanza, an indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon. Here, we present the first serologic evidence of Mayaro (MAYV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) complex alphavirus, Una (UNAV), and Madariaga (MADV) viruses reported in humans (24%, 16%, 13%, and 1.5%, respectively) fromanAmazonian indigenous community in Peru. Hunting activity and cohabiting with hunters were the main risk factors for Mayaro seroconversion, butonly huntingwas associated with UNAVseropositivity. Ourresults suggest that alphavirus infection in this region is common, but we highlight the high UNAV seroprevalence found and corroborate the low MADV prevalence reportedinthis region. Furthermore, MAYV-neutralizing antibodies were also detected instored samples from wild animals (18%) hunted by Nueva Esperanza inhabitants and another mestizo community located close to Iquitos. Further serological surveys of VEE complex alphaviruses, UNAV, and MADV in wild animals and assessing the ability of the MAYV seropositive species to transmit the virus will be relevant. Copyright © 2019 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
This research was supported by a grant fromSENACYT FID 16-201 to J. P. C. and A. V., Secretar ́ıa Nacional deCiencia y Tecnolog ́ıa from Panama; by the grant for neglected dis-eases studies in Panama from the Ministry ofEconomy and Finance of Panama to J. P. C. and A. V.; and byERANet17/HLH-0271. Scott Weaver also supported this studythrough the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arbo-viruses, NIH grant R24AI120942. Dr. Lescano is sponsored by thetraining grant D43 TW007393 awarded by the Fogarty InternationalCenter of the US National Institutes of Health. J. L. M. is a doctoralcandidate studying an Epidemiological Research Doctorate at Uni-versidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia under FONDECYT/CIENCIAC-TIVA scholarship EF033-235-2015 and also supported by traininggrant D43 TW007393. A. V. is a member of the Sistema Nacional deInvestigaci ́on de Panam ́a (SNI),SENACYT.E.S. was supportedby theSpanish Ministerio de Ciencia Innovaci ́on y Universidades (MICINN)through a Ramon y Cajal agreement (RYC-2016-21120).
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Virology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology