mBio, 14 November 2017

Eduardo Martins Netto, Andres Moreira-Soto, Celia Pedroso, Christoph Höser, Sebastian Funk, Adam J. Kucharski, Alexandra Rockstroh, Beate M. Kümmerer, Gilmara Souza Sampaio, Estela Luz, Sara Nunes Vaz, Juarez Pereira Dias, Fernanda Anjos Bastos, Renata Cabral, Thomas Kistemann, Sebastian Ulbert, Xavier de Lamballerie, Thomas Jaenisch, Oliver J. Brady, Christian Drosten, Manoel Sarno, Carlos Brites, Jan Felix Drexler
During 2015 to 2016, Brazil reported more Zika virus (ZIKV) cases than any other country, yet population exposure remains unknown. Serological studies of ZIKV are hampered by cross-reactive immune responses against heterologous viruses. We conducted serosurveys for ZIKV, dengue virus (DENV), and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in 633 individuals prospectively sampled during 2015 to 2016, including microcephaly and non-microcephaly pregnancies, HIV-infected patients, tuberculosis patients, and university staff in Salvador in northeastern Brazil using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and plaque reduction neutralization tests. Sera sampled retrospectively during 2013 to 2015 from 277 HIV-infected patients were used to assess the spread of ZIKV over time. Individuals were georeferenced, and sociodemographic indicators were compared between ZIKV-positive and -negative areas and areas with and without microcephaly cases. Epidemiological key parameters were modeled in a Bayesian framework. ZIKV seroprevalence increased rapidly during 2015 to 2016, reaching 63.3% by 2016 (95% confidence interval [CI], 59.4 to 66.8%), comparable to the seroprevalence of DENV (75.7%; CI, 69.4 to 81.1%) and higher than that of CHIKV (7.4%; CI, 5.6 to 9.8%). Of 19 microcephaly pregnancies, 94.7% showed ZIKV IgG antibodies, compared to 69.3% of 257 non-microcephaly pregnancies (P = 0.017). Analyses of sociodemographic data revealed a higher ZIKV burden in low socioeconomic status (SES) areas. High seroprevalence, combined with case data dynamics allowed estimates of the basic reproduction number R0 of 2.1 (CI, 1.8 to 2.5) at the onset of the outbreak and an effective reproductive number Reff of


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