[Source: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Serological evidence of infection with dengue and Zika viruses in horses on French Pacific Islands
Cécile Beck , Isabelle Leparc-Goffart, Denise Desoutter, Estelle Debergé, Hervé Bichet, Steeve Lowenski, Marine Dumarest, Gaelle Gonzalez, Camille Migné, Jessica Vanhomwegen, Stéphan Zientara, Benoit Durand , Sylvie Lecollinet
Published: February 7, 2019 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007162 / This is an uncorrected proof.
New Caledonia and French Polynesia are areas in which arboviruses circulate extensively. A large serological survey among horses from New Caledonia and French Polynesia was carried out to investigate the seroprevalence of flaviviruses in the horse population. Here, 293 equine sera samples were screened for flaviviruses using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). The positive sera were then confirmed using a flavivirus-specific microsphere immunoassay (MIA) and seroneutralization tests. This serosurvey showed that 16.6% (27/163) and 30.8% (40/130) of horses were positive for cELISA tests in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, respectively, but the MIA technique, targeting only flaviviruses causing neuro-invasive infections in humans and horses (i.e. West Nile virus [WNV], Japanese encephalitis virus [JEV] and tick-borne encephalitis virus [TBEV]), showed negative results for more than 85% (57/67) of the cELISA-positive animals. Seroneutralization tests with the main flaviviruses circulating in the South Pacific revealed that 6.1% (10/163; confidence interval [95% CI] 3.0%-11.0%) of sera in New Caledonia and 7.7% (10/130; 95% CI 3.8%-13.7%) in French Polynesia were positive for dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV1) and 4.3% (7/163; 95% CI 1.7%-8.6%) in New Caledonia and 15.4% (20/130, 95% CI 9.7%-22.8%) in French Polynesia were found positive for Zika virus (ZIKV). Seroprevalence of the JEV and WNV flaviviruses on the 293 samples from both island groups were comparatively much lower (less than 2%). This seroprevalence study in the horse population shows that horses can be infected with dengue and Zika viruses and that these infections lead to seroconversions in horses. The consequences of these infections in horses and their role in ZIKV and DENV epidemiological cycles are two issues that deserve further investigation.
New Caledonia and French Polynesia, located in the South Pacific, are facing circulation of dengue virus (DENV) for a long time and emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) since 2013. A large serosurvey among horses’ population from these two islands was carried out to investigate the seroprevalence of the main flaviviruses circulating in the South Pacific. We find out that 6 to 7% of equine sera tested were positive for DENV serotype 1 in the two islands and 4% and 15% were positive for ZIKV in New Caledonia and French Polynesia respectively. Our study highlighted serological evidence of DENV serotype 1 and ZIKV infections of horses leading to meaningful seroconversion. Seroprevalence of other mosquito-borne flaviviruses (i.e. Japanese encephalitis and West-Nile viruses) were comparatively much lower (less than 2%) in New Caledonia and French Polynesia groups suggesting the absence of past active circulation of these viruses in both islands. This finding emphasized the need to investigate the consequences of such infections in the horse population and to determine the role of domestic animals in ZIKV and DENV epidemiological cycles.
Citation: Beck C, Leparc-Goffart I, Desoutter D, Debergé E, Bichet H, Lowenski S, et al. (2019) Serological evidence of infection with dengue and Zika viruses in horses on French Pacific Islands. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13(2): e0007162. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007162
Editor: David W.C. Beasley, University of Texas Medical Branch, UNITED STATES
Received: July 24, 2018; Accepted: January 15, 2019; Published: February 7, 2019
Copyright: © 2019 Beck 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 paper.
Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Flavivirus; Zika Virus; Dengue Fever; Horses; New Caledonia.