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

Jocelyn G. Pérez, Jean Paul Carrera, Emmanuel Serrano, Yaneth Pittí, Jorge L. Maguiña, Gregorio Mentaberre, Andrés G. Lescano, Anayansi Valderrama, Pedro Mayor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


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