Background: Zika virus (ZIKV; genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae) is maintained in a zoonotic cycle between arboreal Aedes spp. mosquitoes and nonhuman primates in African and Asian forests. Spillover into humans has been documented in both regions and the virus is currently responsible for a large outbreak in French Polynesia. ZIKV amplifications are frequent in southeastern Senegal but little is known about their seasonal and spatial dynamics. The aim of this paper is to describe the spatio-temporal patterns of the 2011 ZIKV amplification in southeastern Senegal.
Methodology/findings: Mosquitoes were collected monthly from April to December 2011 except during July. Each evening from 18:00 to 21:00 hrs landing collections were performed by teams of 3 persons working simultaneously in forest (canopy and ground), savannah, agriculture, village (indoor and outdoor) and barren land cover sites. Mosquitoes were tested for virus infection by virus isolation and RT-PCR. ZIKV was detected in 31 of the 1,700 mosquito pools (11,247 mosquitoes) tested: Ae. furcifer (5), Ae. luteocephalus (5), Ae. africanus (5), Ae. vittatus (3), Ae. taylori, Ae. dalzieli, Ae. hirsutus and Ae. metallicus (2 each) and Ae. aegypti, Ae. unilinaetus, Ma. uniformis, Cx. perfuscus and An. coustani (1 pool each) collected in June (3), September (10), October (11), November (6) and December (1). ZIKV was detected from mosquitoes collected in all land cover classes except indoor locations within villages. The virus was detected in only one of the ten villages investigated.
Conclusions/significance: This ZIKV amplification was widespread in the Kédougou area, involved several mosquito species as probable vectors, and encompassed all investigated land cover classes except indoor locations within villages. Aedes furcifer males and Aedes vittatus were found infected within a village, thus these species are probably involved in the transmission of Zika virus to humans in this environment.