[Investigation of dengue virus and yellow fever virus seropositivities in blood donors from Central/Northern Anatolia, Turkey]

Koray Ergünay, Mehmet B Saygan, Sibel Aydoğan, Nadine Litzba, Matthias Niedrig, Ahmet Pınar, Dürdal Us
Mikrobiyoloji Bülteni 2010, 44 (3): 415-24
Dengue virus (DENV) and yellow fever virus (YFV) are two of the globally prevalent vector-borne flaviviruses. Data on these viruses from Turkey is limited to a single study originating from the western, Aegean region of Turkey, where evidence for DENV exposure had been confirmed in residents and presence of hemagglutination inhibiting antibodies against YFV had been revealed. The aim of this study was to investigate the rates of seropositivity of DENV and YFV in blood donors from Central/Northern Anatolia, Turkey, for the demonstration of possible human exposure. Serum samples were collected by the Turkish Red Crescent Middle Anatolia Regional Blood Center from donation sites at Ankara, Konya, Eskişehir and Zonguldak provinces and included in the study after informed consent. Ankara is the capital and second most-populated city in Turkey. All samples were previously evaluated for West Nile and tick-borne encephalitis virus antibodies and found to be negative. A total of 2435 and 1502 sera have been evaluated for IgG antibodies against DENV and YFV, respectively. Commercial enzymelinked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and indirect immunofluorescence tests (IIFTs) were applied (Euroimmun, Germany) for DENV/YFV IgG surveillance. DENV IgG reactive sera were further evaluated for IgM by ELISA and a commercial mosaic IIFT to determine DENV subtypes. IgM positive samples were also analyzed by a commercial NS1 antigen detection assay (Bio-Rad Laboratories, France). YFV IgG reactive samples were evaluated by IIFT for IgM and via mosaic IIFT and antibody specificity were confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Anti-DENV IgGs were demonstrated in repeated assays in 0.9% (21/2435) of the sera. In two samples with borderline IgG results, presence of DENV IgM was detected, one of which was also borderline positive for DENV NS1 antigen. In 14.3% (3/21) of the IgG reactive sera, mosaic IIFT was evaluated as positive and displayed prominent reactivity for DENV-2 in all samples. From five donors with DENV reactivity, new samples were obtained after at least six months which revealed the continuing presence of DENV IgG activity in four. One sample which was initially positive for IgM, borderline for NS1 antigen and borderline for IgG was observed to be positive for IgG and negative for IgM in redonation. IIFT results in three redonation samples also indicated reactivity for DENV-1 and DENV-2 subtypes. Anti-YFV IgGs were detected in 0.6% (9/1502) of the sera. YFV IgM could not be demonstrated in any of the IgG reactive samples and PRNT was evaluated as negative. In conclusion, evidence for DENV exposure, presumably to DENV-2, was identified in residents from Central Anatolian provinces of Ankara and Konya for the first time, however, seroreactivity detected against YFV could not be confirmed by PRNT. These findings indicated that DENV or an antigenically-similar flavivirus was probably present in the study region and sporadic human exposure might have occurred.

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