Arboviruses are transmitted through insect bites and cause several diseases. Among the most well-known in Brazil are dengue fever, zika and chikungunya. Other arboviruses, such as mayaro and o’nyong-nyong, less known but also with potential to cause epidemics, have drawn the attention of the scientific community, with the appearance of the first cases of these diseases in areas where there was previously no trace of them.
A work group consisting of researchers from different countries, called Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R), was created to investigate the natural history, the epidemiology and the medical approach in infections by chikungunya, mayaro and o’nyong-nyong. The goal was to identify knowledge gaps, propose recommendations for future investigations, and suggest prevention and control actions.
One of the challenges of the fight against arbovirus diseases is their difficult diagnosis, as the diseases cause similar symptoms and are hard to tell apart. Due to the importance of the detection of these viruses in terms of public health, the GloPID-R, of which Guilherme de Sousa Ribeiro, a researcher of Fiocruz Bahia, is a member, has published the first part of a report dedicated to the diagnostic aspects of three arboviruses belonging to the alphavirus gender: chikungunya, o’nyong-nyong and mayaro.
To write the report, the group specialists ran a data survey on PubMed regarding the diagnostic aspects of these diseases caused by arboviruses. The findings were summarized in different sections, tackling epidemiologic aspects relative to the clinical manifestations associated to alphavirus infections, evidence of their co-circulation, and the vectors responsible for their transmission. Sections were also dedicated to each of the viruses, showing serology and molecular diagnostic possibilities, the indication of each of the tests available and the occurrence of crossed reactions.
The report also includes a series of recommendations and warns that new diagnostic tools and protocols are still needed to allow relevant epidemiological studies to be carried out, taking into account the high risk of future epidemics of chikungunya, o’nyong-nyong and mayaro. Read the full article published in the Antiviral Research magazine.