Yet another Mysterious Virus causing Dengue like symptoms in Haiti
A patient was identified with infection caused by a rare virus in Haiti.This case was looked upon by physicians in Haiti along with researchers from University of Florida.Belonging to Alphavirus genus,Mayaro virus is related to Chickenguniya.Symptoms include dengue like illness followed by prolonged joint pain.
A senior investigator Glenn Morris elaborated”Zika virus has been the case of attention in the recent times. This finding of yet another mosquito borne illness signals start of new outbreak in carribean which is a matter of concern.”He hopes that Mayaro virus should not cause massive epidemics as seen in the case of Chickenguniya or Dengue.He also added that this recollects the threat of having more viruses in the future.
Mayaro virus was identified from blood sample of 8 year old child during January 2015.Symptoms of patient includes Abdominal pain with fever and no conjunctivitis or rashes.Faculty from UF Emerging Pathogens Institute collected plasma samples of children during and after Chickenguniya Outbreak,Samples were analyzed using the genetic identification technique reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR for the presence of Chicken Guniya VIRUS RNA.
Mayaro virus dates back to 1954,first isolated in Trinidad.It is a single stranded positive RNA virus and the one with Semliki Forest Virus Complex.The natural reservoirs of MAYV have been reported to be sylvatic (wild) vertebrates, mainly nonhuman primates but also birds and reptiles.Also the transmission cycle was reported to occur through mosquito vectors like Haemogogus,also Aedes spp may be competent vectors.
In Gressier,Haiti,after examining the plasma samples,the UF researchers sent the samples for additional virology and molecular analyses with primary focus on Dengue,chickenguniya as well as Zika.It was found that apart from what was identified as Mayaro,patient was also infected with Dengue virus.
The lead study author,John Lednicky , Ph.D, concluded that the Mayaro virus found in the patient is genetically digfferent from the ones found in Brazil.He also added”Whether it is a recombinant strain from different Mayaro virus or unique to Haiti has not been found yet”.John Lednicky is the associate professor in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions for department of Environmental
& Global Health.
The research on Mayaro virus is continued by UF Team and Infectious disease agencies in order to prevent outbreak of any major epidemic in Haiti & Carribean nations.