Seroprevalence, risk factor, and spatial analyses of Zika virus infection after the 2016 epidemic in Managua, Nicaragua

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Sep 11;115(37):9294-9299. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1804672115. Epub 2018 Aug 27.


In 2015, a Zika epidemic in Brazil began spreading throughout the Americas. Zika virus (ZIKV) entered Managua, Nicaragua, in January 2016 and caused an epidemic that peaked in July-September 2016. ZIKV seropositivity was estimated among participants of pediatric (n = 3,740) and household (n = 2,147) cohort studies, including an adult-only subset from the household cohort (n = 1,074), in Managua. Seropositivity was based on a highly sensitive and specific assay, the Zika NS1 blockade-of-binding ELISA, which can be used in dengue-endemic populations. Overall seropositivity for the pediatric (ages 2-14), household (ages 2-80), and adult (ages 15-80) cohorts was 36, 46, and 56%, respectively. Trend, risk factor, and contour mapping analyses demonstrated that ZIKV seroprevalence increased nonlinearly with age and that body surface area was statistically associated with increasing seroprevalence in children. ZIKV seropositivity was higher in females than in males across almost all ages, with adjusted prevalence ratios in children and adults of 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02-1.21) and 1.14 (95% CI: 1.01-1.28), respectively. No household-level risk factors were statistically significant in multivariate analyses. A spatial analysis revealed a 10-15% difference in the risk of ZIKV infections across our 3-km-wide study site, suggesting that ZIKV infection risk varies at small spatial scales. To our knowledge, this is the largest ZIKV seroprevalence study reported in the Americas, and the only one in Central America and in children to date. It reveals a high level of immunity against ZIKV in Managua as a result of the 2016 epidemic, making a second large Zika epidemic unlikely in the near future.

Keywords: Zika virus; cohort; risk factor; seroprevalence; spatial analysis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicaragua / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Zika Virus Infection / epidemiology*
  • Zika Virus*