The circulation of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Mali has not been clearly characterized. Therefore, we conducted a serologic survey of 793 asymptomatic volunteers >15 years of age (2016), and 637 blood donors (2013) to assess the seroprevalence of ZIKV infection in 2 ecoclimatic regions of Mali, tropical savannah and warm semiarid region, using ELISA and seroneutralization assays. The overall seroprevalence was ≈12% and increased with age, with no statistical difference between male and female participants. In the warm semiarid study sites we detected immunological markers of an outbreak that occurred in the late 1990s in 18% (95% CI 13%-23%) of participants. In tropical savannah sites, we estimated a low rate of endemic transmission, with 2.5% (95% CI 2.0%-3.1%) of population infected by ZIKV annually. These data demonstrate the circulation of ZIKV in Mali and provide evidence of a previously unidentified outbreak that occurred in the late 1990s.
Published in Emerging Infectious Diseases - 05/01/2020