Arboviruses are mainly transmitted to humans through the bites of several species of Aedes mosquitoes. In the context of similar clinical signs, the differential diagnosis of arboviruses is essential to discriminate the causative agent for the effective management of patient, the clinical care and the epidemiological surveillance. The african continent should not be isolated from this surveillance; Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus circulate in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than 900 million people are potentially exposed to mosquito bites as recently reported (Meda N. et al , Lancet 2016). In view of the new risks of intercontinental dissemination of mosquitoes and of imported cases from travelers, it is essential to develop new strategies for the prevention and control of epidemics. Furthermore, for the first time, an arbovirus, ZIKV, is capable of sexual transmission and is associated with microcephalia and severe neurological damage in newborns. The screening of blood donors and returning travelers from active transmission areas have also highlighted the importance of multiplex diagnostic approaches for the simultaneous analysis of various pathogens.
The UMR1058 is involved in the clinical testing of arboviruses and in the development of flexible diagnostic approaches that are a key challenge to face the continuing emergence of arboviruses, belonging to flavivirus (dengue, West-Nile, Yellow fever, Zika, Usutu …) or alphavirus genera (chikungunya virus). An innovative multiplex diagnostic approach based on the generic amplification of the viral genomes and their identification after hybridization on original polythiolated probes is currently in development.