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Reconstructing Mayaro virus circulation in French Guiana shows frequent spillovers

Nat Commun Hozé N, Salje H, Rousset D, Fritzell C, Vanhomwegen J, Bailly S, Najm M, Enfissi A, Manuguerra JC, Flamand C, Cauchemez S

Characterizing the circulation of Mayaro virus (MAYV), an emerging arbovirus threat, is essential for risk assessment but challenging due to cross-reactivity with other alphaviruses such as chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Here, we develop an analytical framework to jointly assess MAYV epidemiology and the extent of cross-reactivity with CHIKV from serological data collected throughout French Guiana (N = 2697). We find strong evidence of an important sylvatic cycle for MAYV with most infections occurring near the natural reservoir in rural areas and in individuals more likely to go to the forest (i.e., adult males) and with seroprevalences of up to 18% in some areas. These findings highlight the need to strengthen MAYV surveillance in the region and showcase how modeling can improve interpretation of cross-reacting assays.

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