- Autores: Lorenzzo Lyrio Stringari, Michel Norbim de Souza, Nésio Fernandes de Medeiros Junior, Jaqueline Pegoretti Goulart, Camila Giuberti, Reynaldo Dietze, Rodrigo Ribeiro-Rodrigues
- Ano de Publicação: 2021
- Journal: PLoS One, 16(1), art e0244937
- Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244937
The impact of SARS-CoV-2 in regions endemic for both Dengue and Chikungunya is still not fully understood. Considering that symptoms/clinical features displayed during Dengue, Chikungunya and SARS-CoV-2 acute infections are similar, undiagnosed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in co-endemic areas may be more prevalent than expected. This study was conducted to assess the prevalence of covert cases of SARS-CoV-2 among samples from patients with clinical symptoms compatible with either Dengue or Chikungunya viral infection in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil.
Presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody specific to SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein was detected using a chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay in samples from 7,370 patients, without previous history of COVID-19 diagnosis, suspected of having either Dengue (n = 1,700) or Chikungunya (n = 7,349) from December 1st, 2019 to June 30th, 2020.
Covert cases of SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 210 (2.85%) out of the 7,370 serum samples tested. The earliest undiagnosed missed case of COVID-19 dated back to a sample collected on December 18, 2019, also positive for Dengue Virus. Cross-reactivity with either Dengue virus or other common coronaviruses were not observed.
Our findings demonstrate that concomitant Dengue or Chikungunya outbreaks may difficult the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate, with a robust sample size (n = 7,370) and using highly specific and sensitive chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay method, that covert SARS-CoV-2 infections are more frequent than previously expected in Dengue and Chikungunya hyperendemic regions. Moreover, our results suggest that SAR-CoV-2 cases were occurring prior to February, 2020, and that these undiagnosed missed cases may have contributed to the fast expansion of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in Brazil. Data presented here demonstrate that in arboviral endemic regions, SARS-CoV-2 infection must be always considered, regardless of the existence of a previous positive diagnosis for Dengue or Chikungunya.
Dengue fever; SARS-CoV-2; Chikungunya infection; COVID 19; Arboviral infections; Virus testing; Enzyme-linked immunoassays; Respiratory infections; vector borne diseases.