Chikungunya and o'nyong-nyong viruses in Uganda: Implications for diagnostics

Tamara L. Clements, Cynthia A. Rossi, Amanda K. Irish, Hannah Kibuuka, Leigh Anne Eller, Merlin L. Robb, Peter Kataaha, Nelson L. Michael, Lisa E. Hensley, Randal J. Schoepp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background. A serosurvey of healthy blood donors provided evidence of hemorrhagic fever and arthropod-borne virus infections in Uganda. Methods. Antibody prevalence to arthropod-borne and hemorrhagic fever viruses in human sera was determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Results. The greatest antibody prevalence determined by ELISA was to chikungunya virus (CHIKV) followed in descending order by West Nile virus (WNV), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), Ebola virus (EBOV), dengue virus (DEN), yellow fever virus (YFV), Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), Marburg virus (MARV), and Lassa virus (LASV). Further investigation of CHIKV-positive sera demonstrated that the majority of antibody responses may likely be the result of exposure to the closely related alphavirus o'nyong-nyong virus (ONNV). Conclusions. As the use of highly specific and sensitive polymerase chain reaction-based assays becomes the diagnostic standard without the corresponding use of the less sensitive but more broadly reactive immunological-based assays, emerging and re-emerging outbreaks will be initially missed, illustrating the need for an orthogonal system for the detection and identification of viruses causing disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Chikungunya
  • Diagnostics
  • O'nyong-nyong
  • ONNV
  • Serosurvey
  • Uganda


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