Identification of Dengue and Chikungunya Cases Among Suspected Cases of Yellow Fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


For more than 95% of acute febrile jaundice cases identified through surveillance for yellow fever, a reemerging arthropod-borne viral disease, no etiological exploration is ever done. The aim of this study was to test for other arthropod-borne viruses that can induce the same symptoms in patients enrolled in the yellow fever surveillance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Of 652 patients included in the surveillance of yellow fever in DRC from January 2003 to January 2012, 453 patients that tested negative for yellow fever virus (YFV) immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies were selected for the study. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was performed for the detection of dengue, West Nile, Chikungunya, O'nyong-nyong, Rift Valley fever, Zika, and YFV. The average age of patients was 22.1 years. We reported 16 cases (3.5%; confidence interval [CI]: 0.8-5.2) of dengue (serotypes 1 and 2) and 2 cases (0.4%; CI: 0.0-1.0) of Chikungunya. Three patients were co-infected with the two serotypes of dengue virus. Three cases of dengue were found in early July 2010 from the city of Titule (Oriental province) during a laboratory-confirmed outbreak of yellow fever, suggesting simultaneous circulation of dengue and yellow fever viruses. This study showed that dengue and Chikungunya viruses are potential causes of acute febrile jaundice in the DRC and highlights the need to consider dengue and Chikungunya diagnosis in the integrated disease surveillance and response program in the DRC. A prospective study is necessary to establish the epidemiology of these diseases.

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