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Yellow fever virus responsible for current epidemic in Brazil originated in Amazon in 1980

Publicado em 02 julho 2019

Por Peter Moon  |  Agência FAPESP

The origin of the virus responsible for the ongoing yellow fever epidemic in Brazil, the worst in 40 years, has been identified by scientists affiliated with two Brazilian institutions, Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL) and the University of São Paulo (USP).By means of a molecular study of yellow fever viruses found in dead monkeys and in mosquitoes, the group discovered that the strain behind the current epidemic originated in Pará State in North Brazil in 1980.

Monkeys - Pará - Spread - Amazon - Region

The virus-infected monkeys in Pará and spread from there throughout the Amazon region until it reached Venezuela and Suriname. From 2000 on, always via infection of monkeys, the disease migrated to the Center-West and Southeast of Brazil, finally reaching São Paulo State in 2013. The first deaths of humans in São Paulo occurred in 2016.Findings of the study, which was supported by São Paulo Research Foundation—FAPESP, are published in Scientific Reports.

Investigation - Mariana - Sequetin - Cunha - Researcher

The investigation was led by Mariana Sequetin Cunha, a researcher in IAL's Vector-Borne Disease Group. Scientists at the University of São Paulo's Tropical Medicine Institute (IMT-USP), the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) and the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) also took part. The project was also funded by Brazil's National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).Since mid-2016, when the ongoing yellow fever epidemic began, 2,245 cases of the disease have been confirmed, with 764 deaths, according to the Health Ministry. The largest number of cases since 1980, when the government made notification mandatory, had previously been reported in 2000. In that year, 40 people died from yellow fever.

Face - Problem - Infection - Monkeys - Mosquitoes

Another face of the problem is the infection of monkeys by the same mosquitoes that transmit the virus to humans. Since 2016, public health authorities responsible for epidemiological surveillance in the Center-West, Southeast and South, where the epidemic is concentrated, have collected the carcasses of more than...

(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org