Chikungunya, Dengue and West Nile Virus Infections in Northern Tanzania

Novati L. Faustine, Elias J. Sabuni, Arnold J. Ndaro, Eliakimu Paul and Jaffu O. Chilongola
Publication year: 

Aim: We aimed at determine the prevalence of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV) in Bondo and Magugu wards in Handeni and Babati districts in Northern Tanzania, in a cross sectional analytical study.

Study Design: This was cross sectional, community based study involving individuals aged 1-80 years of age. Reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) was used to detect arboviruses in whole blood samples. Data was analyzed using SPSS 22.0. Chi square and logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations of explanatory factors and arbovirus infection.

Results: Out of 128 participants recruited, 10 (7.8%) and 1 (0.8 %) were positive for CHIKV and DENV, respectively. None of the participants recruited was positive for WNV. Most cases of arboviruses were detected in Magugu with 8 (12.31%) and 1 (1.54%) individuals being positive for CHIKV and DENV respectively. Male sex was associated with CHIKV infection (χ2=9.126, p=0.003), with five times more odds of having CHIKV infection compared to females (OR: 5.30;(95%CI: 1.21-23.17), P=0.027). No WNV case was detected in any of the sites.

Conclusion: CHIKV is the most prevalent arbovirus in the Northern part of Tanzania. Magugu site has more arbovirus transmission than Bondo site. WNV could be a rare virus in the Northern part of Tanzania. Male sex is associated with higher CHIKV infection rates, with older children being more affected.