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Arbovirus circulation, epidemiology and spatiotemporal distribution in Uganda

Byaruhanga, Timothy; Kayiwa, John T.; Nankya, Annet M.; Ataliba, Irene J.; McClure, C. Patrick; Ball, Jonathan K.; Lutwama, Julius J.


Timothy Byaruhanga

John T. Kayiwa

Annet M. Nankya

Irene J. Ataliba

Professor of Molecular Virology

Julius J. Lutwama


Arboviruses are endemic in Uganda; however, little is known about their epidemiology, seasonality, and spatiotemporal distribution. This study sought to provide information on arbovirus outbreaks from acute clinical presentations.

A retrospective analysis of IgM and confirmatory Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT)and results for arbovirus diagnosis of samples collected from 2016 to 2019 was carried out. Demographic data were used to determine the epidemiology and spatiotemporal distribution of arboviruses using the SaTScan and SPSS software.

Arbovirus activity peaked consistently during March-May rainy seasons. The overall arbovirus seroprevalence was 9·5% (137/1441). Of the 137 IgM positives, 72 (52·6%) were confirmed by PRNT, of which the central region (53/72; 73·6%) and YFV (20/72; 27·8%) had the highest prevalence. The 5-14 age group were four times more likely to be infected with an arbovirus p=0·003, 4·1 (1·3- 12·3 CI). Significant arboviral activity was observed among indoor (p=0·003) and outdoor (p=0·05) patients. Spatiotemporal analysis indicated arboviral activity in 23 districts with five distinct clusters in 6 districts. Masaka, in the Central region, was the most affected among the districts, with a significant YFV cluster (p˂0·001) from March to May 2016.

This study shows that arbovirus activity peak during the March-May rainy season and highlights the need for YFV mass vaccination to reduce the clinical burden of arboviruses transmitted within the region.


Byaruhanga, T., Kayiwa, J. T., Nankya, A. M., Ataliba, I. J., McClure, C. P., Ball, J. K., & Lutwama, J. J. (2023). Arbovirus circulation, epidemiology and spatiotemporal distribution in Uganda. IJID Regions, 6, 171-176.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Feb 3, 2023
Publication Date 2023-03
Deposit Date Feb 11, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 15, 2023
Journal IJID Regions
Print ISSN 2772-7076
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Pages 171-176
Public URL
Publisher URL


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