MSPTM 2019 Annual Scientific Conference
13 - 14 March 2019
InterContinental Kuala Lumpur




Oral Presentation
Scaling Up Efforts in Tropical Disease and Vector Control through Evidence-Based Research
Medical Microbiology & Parasitology


Main Author
Chong Long Chua1
Presenting Author
Chong Long Chua1
Yoke Fun Chan1
Jeffrine J. Rovie-Ryan2
Jolene Y.L. Fu1
Charmaine Tong1
Eva S.G. Soh Andu1
Frankie Thomas Sitam2
Khebir Verasahib3
I-Ching Sam1

Authors' Institution

Department / Institution / Country
Medical Microbiology / University of Malaya / Malaysia1
National Wildlife Forensic Laboratory / Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) / Malaysia2
National Public Health Laboratory / Ministry of Heath / Malaysia3
Abstract Content
Chikungunya (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) has reemerged from Asia to cause recent unprecedented outbreaks in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Non-human primates (NHPs) are suspected to be animal reservoirs for both viruses in Africa, but little is known of their role in maintaining sylvatic cycles in Southeast Asia. We evaluated CHIKV and ZIKV prevalence in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), the most common macaque species in Peninsular Malaysia. Serum samples were collected from long-tailed macaques trapped at > 30 sites in the states of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang, Penang and Johor in October - November 2009 and October 2010 (during and after the CHIKV outbreak in Malaysia), and tested for CHIKV (n=147) and ZIKV (n=145) seroprevalence. An additional 89 samples collected in March and August 2016 (during the ZIKV global epidemics) were tested for ZIKV seroprevalence only, giving a total of 234 samples tested for ZIKV. None of the samples were positive for CHIKV and ZIKV RNA by PCR. Samples were tested for CHIKV and ZIKV neutralising antibodies by neutralisation assay. As flavivirus antibodies often cross-react between ZIKV and dengue virus (DENV), additional neutralisation assays were performed using DENV-1 and -2. One of 147 (0.7%) macaques had CHIKV neutralising antibodies detected. A total of 6/234 (2.6%) macaques had ZIKV neutralising antibodies, and 3 of these had no detectable dengue antibodies, giving a final ZIKV seroprevalence of at least 3/234 (1.3%). Wild long-tailed macaques are exposed to both CHIKV and ZIKV, but the low prevalence suggests that they are unlikely to be significant animal reservoirs in Malaysia, with the caveat that the long-term dynamics of CHIKV and ZIKV antibodies and infection in macaques is not known. This reinforces the need to study other NHPs and mammals as reservoirs of CHIKV and ZIKV in Malaysia, to understand transmission and mitigate future emergence.
Keywords: Chikungunya virus; Zika virus; Macaca fascicularis; neutralizing antibodies; seroprevalence; Malaysia
Requires Audio or Video system for Presentation?: No