Ecological drivers of sustained enzootic yellow fever virus transmission in Brazil, 2017–2021

Natália Ingrid Oliveira Silva, Gregory F. Albery, Matheus Soares Arruda, Gabriela Fernanda Garcia Oliveira, Thaís Alkifeles Costa, Érica Munhoz de Mello, Gabriel Dias Moreira, Erik Vinícius Reis, Simone Agostinho da Silva, Marlise Costa Silva, Munique Guimarães de Almeida, Daniel J. Becker, Colin J. Carlson, Nikos Vasilakis, Kathryn A. Hanley, Betânia Paiva Drumond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Beginning December 2016, sylvatic yellow fever (YF) outbreaks spread into southeastern Brazil, and Minas Gerais state experienced two sylvatic YF waves (2017 and 2018). Following these massive YF waves, we screened 187 free-living non-human primate (NHPs) carcasses collected throughout the state between January 2019 and June 2021 for YF virus (YFV) using RTqPCR. One sample belonging to a Callithrix, collected in June 2020, was positive for YFV. The viral strain belonged to the same lineage associated with 2017–2018 outbreaks, showing the continued enzootic circulation of YFV in the state. Next, using data from 781 NHPs carcasses collected in 2017–18, we used generalized additive mixed models (GAMMs) to identify the spatiotemporal and host-level drivers of YFV infection and intensity (an estimation of genomic viral load in the liver of infected NHP). Our GAMMs explained 65% and 68% of variation in virus infection and intensity, respectively, and uncovered strong temporal and spatial patterns for YFV infection and intensity. NHP infection was higher in the eastern part of Minas Gerais state, where 2017–2018 outbreaks affecting humans and NHPs were concentrated. The odds of YFV infection were significantly lower in NHPs from urban areas than from urban-rural or rural areas, while infection intensity was significantly lower in NHPs from urban areas or the urban-rural interface relative to rural areas. Both YFV infection and intensity were higher during the warm/rainy season compared to the cold/dry season. The higher YFV intensity in NHPs in warm/rainy periods could be a result of higher exposure to vectors and/or higher virus titers in vectors during this time resulting in the deliv-ery of a higher virus dose and higher viral replication levels within NHPs. Further studies are needed to better test this hypothesis and further compare the dynamics of YFV enzootic cycles between different seasons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0011407
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number6 June
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Ecological drivers of sustained enzootic yellow fever virus transmission in Brazil, 2017–2021'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this