Main content area

Seroepidemiology of Selected Alphaviruses and Flaviviruses in Bats in Trinidad

Thompson, N. N., Auguste, A. J., Travassos da Rosa, A. P. A., Carrington, C. V. F., Blitvich, B. J., Chadee, D. D., Tesh, R. B., Weaver, S. C., Adesiyun, A. A.
Zoonoses and public health 2015 v.62 no.1 pp. 53-60
Chiroptera, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, Rio Bravo virus, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, antibodies, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, hemagglutination inhibition test, humans, public health, serological surveys, seroprevalence, viruses, Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago
A serosurvey of antibodies against selected flaviviruses and alphaviruses in 384 bats (representing 10 genera and 14 species) was conducted in the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Sera were analysed using epitope‐blocking enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) specific for antibodies against West Nile virus (WNV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) and eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), all of which are zoonotic viruses of public health significance in the region. Overall, the ELISAs resulted in the detection of VEEV‐specific antibodies in 11 (2.9%) of 384 bats. Antibodies to WNV and EEEV were not detected in any sera. Of the 384 sera, 308 were also screened using hemagglutination inhibition assay (HIA) for antibodies to the aforementioned viruses as well as St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV; which also causes epidemic disease in humans), Rio Bravo virus (RBV), Tamana bat virus (TABV) and western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV). Using this approach, antibodies to TABV and RBV were detected in 47 (15.3%) and 3 (1.0%) bats, respectively. HIA results also suggest the presence of antibodies to an undetermined flavivirus(es) in 8 (2.6%) bats. Seropositivity for TABV was significantly (P < 0.05; χ²) associated with bat species, location and feeding preference, and for VEEV with roost type and location. Differences in prevalence rates between urban and rural locations were statistically significant (P < 0.05; χ²) for TABV only. None of the aforementioned factors was significantly associated with RBV seropositivity rates.