Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link Skip directly to A-Z link
Volume 21, Number 10—October 2015
Letter

Zika Virus Transmission from French Polynesia to Brazil

Cite This Article

To the Editor: Campos et al. (1) reported a Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak in Brazil in 2015. This response adds complementary data related to the propagation of this mosquitoborne disease.

To date, the largest ZIKV outbreak occurred in French Polynesia during 2013–2014. The outbreak spread to other Pacific Islands: New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Easter Island, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands (2). The origin of introduction of ZIKV to French Polynesia remains unknown; introduction of ZIKV in New Caledonia was after imported cases from French Polynesia (3); introduction to Easter Island was suspected to have occurred among attendees of the annual Tapati festival, including those from French Polynesia (4). The virus was likely transmitted to New Caledonia, Cook Islands, and Easter Island when infected travelers from French Polynesia were bitten by vectors while on the islands. Frequent travel between New Caledonia and Vanuatu is likely related to the introduction of ZIKV in the latter country.

Phylogenetic studies showed that the closest strain to the one that emerged in Brazil was isolated from samples from case-patients in French Polynesia and spread among the Pacific Islands (1); both strains belong to the Asian lineage. It has been assumed that ZIKV was introduced to Brazil during a World Cup soccer competition in 2014 (5), although no ZIKV-endemic Pacific countries competed. However, in August 2014, the Va’a World Sprint Championship canoe race was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Four Pacific countries (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, and Easter Island) in which ZIKV circulated during 2014 had teams engaged in this contest in several categories. These data combined with phylogenetic studies by Zanluca et al. (5) suggest that ZIKV introduction in Brazil may have been a consequence of this event. In areas where potential vectors are present, vigilance should be enhanced to detect imported cases of ZIKV, and laboratory capacity to confirm suspected ZIKV infections should be strengthened.

Top

Didier MussoComments to Author 

Author affiliation: Institut Louis Malardé, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Top

References

  1. Campos  GS, Bandeira  AC, Sardi  SI. Zika virus outbreak, Bahia, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Oct [cited 2016 Jul 7].
  2. Musso  D, Cao-Lormeau  V, Gubler  D. Zika virus: following the path of dengue and chikungunya? Lancet. 2015;386:2434. DOIPubMed
  3. Dupont-Rouzeyrol  M, O’Connor  O, Calvez  E, Daurès  M, John  M, Grangeon  JP, Co-infection with Zika and dengue viruses in 2 patients, New Caledonia, 2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21:3812. DOIPubMed
  4. Schwan  K. Zika virus—Pacific (07): Chile (Easter Island), French Polynesia (07). ProMedmail. 2014 Mar 9 [cited 2016 Jul 7]. http://www.promedmail.org, archive no. 20140309.2322907.
  5. Zanluca  C, de Melo  VCA, Mosimann  ALP, dos Santos  GIV, dos Santos  CND, Luz  K. First report of autochthonous transmission of Zika virus in Brazil. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2015;110:56972. DOIPubMed

Top

Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2110.151125

Related Links

Top

Table of Contents – Volume 21, Number 10—October 2015

Comments

Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Didier Musso, Institut Louis Malardé, PO Box 30, 98713 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Send To

character(s) remaining.

Comment submitted successfully, thank you for your feedback.

Top

Page created: October 06, 2015
Page updated: October 06, 2015
Page reviewed: October 06, 2015
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
file_external