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Model-based assessment of Chikungunya and O’nyong-nyong virus circulation

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Nature communications Hozé N, Diarra I, Sangaré AK, Pastorino B, Pezzi L, Kouriba B, Sagara I, Dabo A, Djimdé A, Thera MA, Doumbo OK, de Lamballerie X, Cauchemez C

Serological surveys are essential to quantify immunity in a population but serological cross-reactivity often impairs estimates of the seroprevalence. Here, we show that modeling helps addressing this key challenge by considering the important cross-reactivity between Chikungunya (CHIKV) and O’nyong-nyong virus (ONNV) as a case study. We develop a statistical model to assess the epidemiology of these viruses in Mali. We additionally calibrate the model with paired virus neutralization titers in the French West Indies, a region with known CHIKV circulation but no ONNV. In Mali, the model estimate of ONNV and CHIKV prevalence is 30% and 13%, respectively, versus 27% and 2% in non-adjusted estimates. While a CHIKV infection induces an ONNV response in 80% of cases, an ONNV infection leads to a cross-reactive CHIKV response in only 22% of cases. Our study shows the importance of conducting serological assays on multiple cross-reactive pathogens to estimate levels of virus circulation.

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