In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the first outbreak of Oropouche fever in the Northern part of the Cusco region of Peru, resulting in 57 reported cases of infection due to the Oropouche virus (OROV).
Oropouche virus (OROV) is an RNA virus that belongs to the family Bunyaviridae. Phylogenetic analysis of OROV has identified 4 virus genotypes (I, II, III, IV), which all occur in Brazil. In humans, OROV causes Oropouche fever, which is clinically characterized by a rapid-onset acute febrile illness. Oropouche fever is reported to be the second most common arboviral disease, next to Dengue fever, in the Brazilian Amazon region. Other symptoms associated with the disease are like those reported for Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, and yellow fever infections, and include headache, myalgia, joint pain, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, OROV can cause a type of viral meningitis.
OROV was first isolated in 1955 from the blood of a febrile patient and from a pool of Coquillettidia venezuelensis mosquitoes in Trinidad. In 1960, the virus was isolated from the blood of a dead sloth and a pool of Ochlerotatus serratus mosquitoes, found in the same location, in the city of Belem, Brazil. In the sylvatic cycle the specific primary vector has not yet been identified but transmission of OROV to animals such as sloths, non-human primates and birds is still thought to be via mosquitoes.
In humans, OROV is transmitted by the biting midge Culicoides paraensis, an insect vector that lives in urban areas and is widely distributed in South America stretching from the northern half of Argentina to the mid-U.S. Between 1960 and 1980 outbreaks of Oropouche fever were mainly seen in the city of Belem resulting in more than 100,000 cases of infection. Since 1955, OROV has caused 30 large scale epidemics in the Amazon region infecting at least 500,000 people. The incidence of Oropouche fever has now become widespread in Latin American countries including Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama and may continue to spread to other countries where C.paraensis is present.
The recent outbreak of OROV in Peru has given the WHO some cause for concern. Given the geographical spread of OROV infection and the similarity of the symptoms of Oropouche fever to infections caused by Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever viruses, the WHO have recommended that OROV infection is included in the differential diagnosis with these common arboviral diseases.
The Native Antigen Company has recently launched a recombinant OROV Nucleoprotein, which is a highly purified antigen designed to support immunoassay development. Further Oropouche antigens are in development, so please check back on our web-site regularly for updates.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Oropouche Virus disease – Peru. http://www.who.int/csr/don/03-june-2016-oropouche-peru/en/
- Vasconcelos, H.B. et al (2011). Molecular epidemiology of Oropouche virus, Brazil. Emerg Infect Dis. 17(5):800-6.
- Gibrail, M.M. et al (2016). Detection of antibodies to Oropouche virus in non-human primates in Goiania City, Goias. Rev.Soc.Bras.Med.Trop.49(3):357-360.