Historical Perspective of Arboviruses in Mozambique and Its Implication for Current and Future Epidemics

  • Eduardo Samo Gudo
  • Kerstin Falk
  • Julie Cliff
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1062)


Mozambique is a tropical country situated in the Southern part of Africa, a region where data on the burden and epidemiology of arbovirus is presently quite scarce although the frequency of outbreaks caused by arboviruses is rapidly increasing. Outbreaks of dengue fever have been reported in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania and a recent unprecedented outbreak of Yellow fever has been recorded in Angola. These new outbreaks collectively suggest that arboviruses, and specifically flavivirus infections, are endemic in Mozambique.

Although recent data on arbovirus activity is scarce, the work of Kokernot et al. [R.H. Kokernot, K.C. Smithburn, A.F. Gandara, B.M. Mc’Intosh and C.S. Heymann Anais Inst Med Trop (1960), 17:201–230] describes seroepidemiological and entomological studies carried out in several parts of Mozambique during the 1950s. Complementary seroepidemiological investigations on arboviruses that were conducted in the early 1980s also found serological evidence of several arboviruses which included Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, Rift Valey Fever, Sinbdis virus, Wesselsbron, Bunyamwera, Pongola and Bawamba Fever and Yellow Fever.

Notably the first description of Chikungunya virus in 1952–1953 in Tanzania also included reported cases in northern Mozambique. Furthermore, DENV serotype 3 was for the first time described in northern Mozambique in 1984 and 1985. Since several arboviral infections result in acute self limiting fever they have remained unsuspected for several decades. However, it is well known that during the 1980’s intensive malaria control initiatives which included massive distribution of bed nets, community education and indoor and outdoor spraying campaigns were implemented. It is possible that these measures may have influenced the epidemiology of arboviruses. However, the impact of these interventions in controlling the spread of arboviruses is not known.

In conclusion, the old literature on arboviruses in Mozambique is relevant for assessing the gaps and current risk of occurrence of these pathogens at the region, particularly in a time in which they are spreading worldwide.


Arboviruses Dengue Chikungunya Zika virus Malaria seroepidemiology 



The authors thank the library of the National Institute of Health (Mozambique) for providing old literature about arbovirus in Mozambique.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Samo Gudo
    • 1
  • Kerstin Falk
    • 2
  • Julie Cliff
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of HealthMaputoMozambique
  2. 2.The Public Health Agency of Sweden and Karolinska InstituteSolnaSweden
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineEduardo Mondlane UniversityMaputoMozambique

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