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Impact of Zika Virus Emergence in French Guiana: A Large General Population Seroprevalence Survey

Journal of Infectious Diseases Flamand C, Bailly S, Fritzell C, Berthelot L, Vanhomwegen J, Salje H, Paireau J, Matheus S, Enfissi A, Fernandes-Pellerin S, Djossou F, Linares S, Carod JF, Kazanji M, Manuguerra JC, Cauchemez S, Rousset D

Background: Since the identification of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil in May 2015, the virus has spread throughout the Americas. However, ZIKV burden in the general population in affected countries remains unknown.

Methods: We conducted a general population survey in the different communities of French Guiana through individual interviews and serologic survey during June-October 2017. All serum samples were tested for anti-ZIKV immunoglobulin G antibodies using a recombinant antigen-based SGERPAxMap microsphere immunoassay, and some of them were further evaluated through anti-ZIKV microneutralization tests.

Results: The overall seroprevalence was estimated at 23.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.9%-25.9%) among 2697 participants, varying from 0% to 45.6% according to municipalities. ZIKV circulated in a large majority of French Guiana but not in the most isolated forest areas. The proportion of reported symptomatic Zika infection was estimated at 25.5% (95% CI, 20.3%-31.4%) in individuals who tested positive for ZIKV.

Conclusions: This study described a large-scale representative ZIKV seroprevalence study in South America from the recent 2015-2016 Zika epidemic. Our findings reveal that the majority of the population remains susceptible to ZIKV, which could potentially allow future reintroductions of the virus.

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