Mosquito-borne arboviruses in Uganda: history, transmission and burden

Mayanja, M. N., Mwiine, F., Lutwama, J. J., Sssekagiri, A., Egesa, M., Thomson, E. C. and Kohl, A. (2021) Mosquito-borne arboviruses in Uganda: history, transmission and burden. Journal of General Virology, 102(6), 001615. (doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001615) (PMID:34166178)

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Mosquito-transmitted arboviruses constitute a large proportion of emerging infectious diseases that are both a public health problem and a threat to animal populations. Many such viruses were identified in East Africa, a region where they remain important and from where new arboviruses may emerge. We set out to describe and review the relevant mosquito-borne viruses that have been identified specifically in Uganda. We focused on the discovery, burden, mode of transmission, animal hosts and clinical manifestation of those previously involved in disease outbreaks. A search for mosquito-borne arboviruses detected in Uganda was conducted using search terms ‘Arboviruses in Uganda’ and ‘Mosquitoes and Viruses in Uganda’ in PubMed and Google Scholar in 2020. Twenty-four mosquito-borne viruses from different animal hosts, humans and mosquitoes were documented. The majority of these were from family Peribunyaviridae, followed by Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Phenuiviridae and only one each from family Rhabdoviridae and Reoviridae. Sixteen (66.7 %) of the viruses were associated with febrile illnesses. Ten (41.7 %) of them were first described locally in Uganda. Six of these are a public threat as they have been previously associated with disease outbreaks either within or outside Uganda. Historically, there is a high burden and endemicity of arboviruses in Uganda. Given the many diverse mosquito species known in the country, there is also a likelihood of many undescribed mosquito-borne viruses. New generation diagnostic platforms have great potential to identify new viruses. Indeed, four novel viruses, two of which were from humans (Ntwetwe and Nyangole viruses) and two from mosquitoes (Kibale and Mburo viruses) including the 2010 yellow fever virus (YFV) outbreak were identified in the last decade using next generation sequencing. Given the unbiased approach of detection of viruses by this technology, its use will undoubtedly be critically important in the characterization of mosquito viromes which in turn will inform other diagnostic efforts.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported through the Wellcome Trust-funded ArboViral Infection (AVI) study (102789/Z/13/A), the UK Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12014/8) (A.K., E.C.T.), the Makerere University/UVRI Infection and Immunity (MUII) Research Training program and the DELTAS Africa Initiative (Grant No: 107743). The DELTAS Africa Initiative is an independent funding scheme of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) and supported by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) with funding from the Wellcome Trust (Grant No: 107743) and the UK Government.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thomson, Professor Emma and Mayanja, Mr Martin and Kohl, Professor Alain
Authors: Mayanja, M. N., Mwiine, F., Lutwama, J. J., Sssekagiri, A., Egesa, M., Thomson, E. C., and Kohl, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of General Virology
Publisher:Microbiology Society
ISSN (Online):1465-2099
Published Online:24 June 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of General Virology 102(6): 001615
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
169538T-cell mediated evolution of hepatitis C virus during acute infectionEmma ThomsonWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)102789/Z/13/ZIII-MRC-GU Centre for Virus Research
656551Arbovirus interactions with arthropod hostsAlain KohlMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/8MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH