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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 317-323

Hunting in the rainforest and mayaro virus infection: An emerging alphavirus in Ecuador


1 Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida;Biomedicine Center, Universidad Central, Ecuador, USA
2 Department of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
3 Department of Pathology, Center for Tropical Diseases, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA
4 Ecuadorian Armed Forces Hospital HG-1, Quito, Ecuador, USA
5 Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA
6 Institute for Global Health, School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ricardo O Izurieta
Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida;Biomedicine Center, Universidad Central, Ecuador
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.91049

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Objectives: The objectives of this report were to document the potential presence of Mayaro virus infection in Ecuador and to examine potential risk factors for Mayaro virus infection among the personnel of a military garrison in the Amazonian rainforest. Materials and Methods: The study population consisted of the personnel of a garrison located in the Ecuadorian Amazonian rainforest. The cross-sectional study employed interviews and seroepidemiological methods. Humoral immune response to Mayaro virus infection was assessed by evaluating IgM- and IgG-specific antibodies using ELISA. Results: Of 338 subjects studied, 174 were from the Coastal zone of Ecuador, 73 from Andean zone, and 91 were native to the Amazonian rainforest. Seroprevalence of Mayaro virus infection was more than 20 times higher among Amazonian natives (46%) than among subjects born in other areas (2%). Conclusions: Age and hunting in the rainforest were significant predictors of Mayaro virus infection overall and among Amazonian natives. The results provide the first demonstration of the potential presence of Mayaro virus infection in Ecuador and a systematic evaluation of risk factors for the transmission of this alphavirus. The large difference in prevalence rates between Amazonian natives and other groups and between older and younger natives suggest that Mayaro virus is endemic and enzootic in the rainforest, with sporadic outbreaks that determine differences in risk between birth cohorts of natives. Deep forest hunting may selectively expose native men, descendants of the Shuar and Huaronai ethnic groups, to the arthropod vectors of Mayaro virus in areas close to primate reservoirs.


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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008