Objectives: The (re)emergence of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Africa requires better knowledge on the epidemiology of CHIKV infection in the continent for efficient public health strategies. We aimed to describe the epidemiology of CHIKV infection in Africa, a neglected tropical disease (NTD). Study design: This was a systematic review with meta-analysis of studies reporting CHIKV infection prevalence. We searched Embase, PubMed, Africa Journal Online and Global Index Medicus to identify observational studies published from January 2000 to September 2017. Methods: We used a random-effect model to pool the prevalence of CHIKV infections reported with their 95% confidence interval (CI). Heterogeneity was assessed via the Chi-squared test on Cochran's Q statistic. Review registration is in PROSPERO CRD42017080395. Results: A total of 39 studies (37,881 participants; 18 countries) were included. No study was reported from Southern Africa. Thirty-two (82.0%), seven (18.0%) and no studies had low, moderate and high risk of bias, respectively. Outside outbreak periods, the pooled immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) seroprevalence was 9.7% (95% CI 3.0–19.6; 16 studies) and 16.4% (95% CI 9.1–25.2; 23 studies), respectively. The IgM seroprevalence was lower in Northern Africa, and there was no difference for IgG prevalence across regions in Africa. The IgM and IgG seroprevalences were not different between acute and non-acute febrile participants. The seroprevalence was not associated with GPS coordinates (latitude, longitude and altitude). Conclusions: Although considered a NTD, we find high prevalence of CHIKV infection in Africa. As such, chikungunya fever should deserve more attention from healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers and stakeholders from many sectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health