Zika Virus Seroprevalence in Two Districts of Chincha, Ica, Peru: A Cross-Sectional Study

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Nov 22;tpmd201339. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-1339. Online ahead of print.


In 2017, a major outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection took place in Chincha Province, Peru, where arboviral circulation had never been reported before. We conducted a cross-sectional survey (March-May 2019) in two districts of Chincha Province: Pueblo Nuevo and Chincha Baja. We included residents who were 20 to 40 years old and who had lived in these districts for at least 1 year. Serological testing combined screening with a commercial NS1 protein-based Zika IgG ELISA, and confirmation by a cytopathic effect-based virus neutralization test (VNT). Prevalence ratios (PRs) were calculated using Poisson regression with robust error variance. Four hundred participants, divided equally among districts, were enrolled. Anti-ZIKV IgG ELISA was positive for 42 participants (10.5%) and borderline for 12 (3%). Fifty-two of these 54 samples were confirmed positive by ZIKV VNT (13% of the total population). The Pueblo Nuevo district exhibited a greater ZIKV seroprevalence based on VNT results than the Chincha Baja district (23.5% versus 2.5%), with participants from the Pueblo Nuevo district being 9.4 times more likely to have a positive ZIKV VNT result. Average monthly income greater than the minimum wage and adequate water storage were found to be protective factors (PR, 0.29 and 0.24, respectively). In multivariate analysis, living in the Pueblo Nuevo district and a personal history of fever and rash were strong predictors of ZIKV positivity by VNT. The low ZIKV seroprevalence should prompt health authorities to stimulate interventions to prevent potential future outbreaks. In the Pueblo Nuevo district, the seroprevalence was greater but presumably not sufficient to ensure protective herd immunity.