Flavivirus antibodies reactive to Zika virus detected in multiple species of nonhuman primates in Kenya, 2008-2017

Albina Makio, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Peris Ambala, Hastings Ozwara, Peninah Munyua, Elizabeth Hunsperger

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Background: Zika virus (ZIKV), first described in 1947, is an arthropod-borne virus associated with sporadic outbreaks and interepidemic transmission. Recent studies have implicated nonhuman primates (NHPs) as the probable reservoir hosts. We tested archived serum samples of NHPs collected in Kenya for evidence of neutralizing ZIKV antibodies. 

Methods: We randomly selected 212 archived serum samples from Institute of Primate Research in Kenya collected between 1992 and 2017. These specimens were tested by microneutralization test. 

Results: The 212 serum samples were collected in 7 counties from 87 (41.0%) Olive baboons, 69 (32.5%) Vervet monkeys, and 49 (23.1%) Sykes monkeys. Half (50.9%) were male and 56.4% were adult. We detected ZIKV antibodies in 38 (17.9%; 95% confidence interval: 13.3-23.6) samples. 

Conclusions: These results suggest ZIKV transmission and potential maintenance in nature by NHPs in Kenya.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)393-396
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Female
  • Kenya/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Primates
  • Zika Virus
  • Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology

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