[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Emergence of Madariaga virus as a cause of acute febrile illness in children, Haiti, 2015-2016
John A. Lednicky, Sarah K. White, Carla N. Mavian, Maha A. El Badry, Taina Telisma, Marco Salemi, Bernard A. OKech, V. Madsen Beau De Rochars, J. Glenn Morris Jr.
Published: January 10, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006972
Madariaga virus (MADV), also known as South American eastern equine encephalitis virus, has been identified in animals and humans in South and Central America, but not previously in Hispaniola or the northern Caribbean. MADV was isolated from virus cultures of plasma from an 8-year-old child in a school cohort in the Gressier/Leogane region of Haiti, who was seen in April, 2015, with acute febrile illness (AFI). The virus was subsequently cultured from an additional seven AFI case patients from this same cohort in February, April, and May 2016. Symptoms most closely resembled those seen with confirmed dengue virus infection. Sequence data were available for four isolates: all were within the same clade, with phylogenetic and molecular clock data suggesting recent introduction of the virus into Haiti from Panama sometime in the period from October 2012-January 2015. Our data document the movement of MADV into Haiti, and raise questions about the potential for further spread in the Caribbean or North America.
Madariaga virus (MADV) is the name given to what used to be called South American eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), based on recent studies suggesting that MADV is distinct genetically from the EEEV circulating in North America. Until now, MADV has been found primarily in animals in South and Central America, with a limited number of human cases reported (most of whom had encephalitis). Our group has been responsible for a series of studies assessing the etiology of acute febrile illness (AFI) among children in a school cohort in Haiti. Unexpectedly, in April, 2015, we identified MADV on viral culture of plasma from a student with AFI in this cohort; an additional seven cases were identified on culture of samples from children with AFI in this same cohort in February, April, and May 2016. On sequence analysis, all strains were very similar genetically, and appear to have come from a strain introduced into Haiti from Panama sometime in the period from October 2012- January 2015. Symptoms of children were similar to those seen with dengue; none had encephalitis. Our data indicate that this virus, which has the potential for causing serious illness, has been recently introduced into Haiti, and raises the possibility that it might move into other parts of the Caribbean or North America.
Citation: Lednicky JA, White SK, Mavian CN, El Badry MA, Telisma T, Salemi M, et al. (2019) Emergence of Madariaga virus as a cause of acute febrile illness in children, Haiti, 2015-2016. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(1): e0006972. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006972
Editor: Michael J. Turell, INDEPENDENT RESEARCHER, UNITED STATES
Received: August 7, 2018; Accepted: November 3, 2018; Published: January 10, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Lednicky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: All relevant data are within the manuscript and its supporting information files. Private health information for patients is excluded, and cannot be provided due to IRB restrictions.
Funding: Work was supported in part by NIH grant R01 AI126357-01S1, awarded to JGM. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus; Madariaga Virus; Haiti.