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Serological and molecular epidemiology of the Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses in a risk area in Brazil

Magaly Lima Mota, Robson Dos Santos Souza Marinho, Rodrigo Lopes Sanz Duro, James Hunter, Irwin Rose Alencar de Menezes, João Marcos Ferreira De Lima Silva, Glaubervânio Leite Tavares Pereira, Ester Cerdeira Sabino, Anete Grumach, Ricardo Sobhie Diaz,
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Published: 24 July 2021

Abstract: Background The co-circulation of types of arbovirus in areas where they are endemic increased the risk of outbreaks and limited the diagnostic methods available. Here, we analyze the epidemiological profile of DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV at the serological and molecular level in patients with suspected infection with these arboviruses in the city of Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brazil. Methods In 2016, the Central Public Health Laboratory (LACEN) of Juazeiro do Norte received 182 plasma samples from patients who visited health facilities with symptoms compatible with arbovirus infection. The LACEN performed serological tests for detection of IgM/IgG to DENV and CHIKV. They then sent these samples to the Retrovirology Laboratory of the Federal University of São Paulo and Faculty of Medical of the ABC where molecular analyses to confirm the infection by DENV, ZIKV and CHIKV were performed. The prevalence of IgM/IgG antibodies and of infections confirmed by RT-qPCR were presented with 95% confidence interval. Results In serologic analysis, 125 samples were positive for antibodies against CHIKV and all were positive for antibodies against DENV. A higher prevalence of IgG against CHIKV (63.20% with 95% CI: 45.76–70.56) than against DENV (95.05% with 95% CI: 78.09–98.12) was observed. When the samples were submitted to analysis by RT-qPCR, we observed the following prevalence: mono-infection by ZIKV of 19.23% (95% CI: 14.29–34.82) patients, mono-infection by CHIKV of 3.84% (95% CI: 2.01–5.44) and co-infection with ZIKV and CHIKV of 1.09% (95% CI: 0.89–4.56). Conclusion The serologic and molecular tests performed in this study were effective in analyzing the epidemiological profile of DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV in patients with suspected infection by these arboviruses in the city of Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará/Brazil.
Keywords: Epidemiology / Dengue / Zika / Chikungunya / Brazil

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