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Curr Opin Virol. 2020 Mar 16;40:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2020.02.004. [Epub ahead of print]

Influence of herd immunity in the cyclical nature of arboviruses.

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Instituto Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rua Waldemar Falcão, 121, Candeal, 40296-710, Salvador, BA, Brazil; Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.
Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.
Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal.
Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution Graduate Program, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA.
World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity, and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, 77555-0610 TX, USA. Electronic address:


We review and contrast the evidence for an effect of amplifying host herd immunity on circulation and human exposure to arboviruses. Herd immunity of short-lived West Nile virus avian amplifying hosts appears to play a limited role in levels of enzootic circulation and spillover infections of humans, which are not amplifiers. In contrast, herd immunity of nonhuman primate hosts for enzootic Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses is much stronger and appears to regulate to a large extent the periodicity of sylvatic amplification in Africa. Following the recent Zika and chikungunya pandemics, human herd immunity in the Americas quickly rose to ∼50% in many regions, although seroprevalence remains patchy. Modeling from decades of chikungunya circulation in Asia suggests that this level of herd immunity will suppress for many years major chikungunya and Zika epidemics in the Americas, followed by smaller outbreaks as herd immunity cycles with a periodicity of up to several decades.

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