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Molecular Epidemiology of Dengue Fever & Chikungunya Viruses

Molecular Epidemiology of Dengue Fever & Chikungunya Viruses

Project Lead(s)
Associate Professor
Project Background 

Dengue and Chikungunya virus diseases are mosquito-borne tropical diseases caused by the Dengue and Chikungunya viruses respectively. Global annual estimated cases have appreciated significantly in the last decade. In Ghana, patients who present with symptoms consistent with these infections are screened for Yellow Fever (YF) virus, without investigating for other possible causative viruses. Anecdotal reports indicate that more than 20% of fatal suspected YF cases were not conclusively established. This, in part, could be attributed to the lack of diagnostic capacity for Dengue, Chikungunya, and other endemic Arboviruses.

A prospective 5-year study based in selected health facilities across the country. Consecutive suspected cases presenting at the respective health facility with clinical symptoms (based on case definition) be recruited using a case investigation form (CIF) to obtain detailed clinical history and demographic data. It is expected to identify and characterize agents of Dengue Fever and Chikungunya as well as other arboviruses of interest and obtain their serological and molecular profile. Additionally, scientific data generated will inform the national policy framework on the control and management of the two viral hemorrhagic fever viruses in the country.

Aims: To identify and characterize Dengue Fever and Chikungunya Viruses and other endemic arboviruses in selected health facilities in Ghana.

Specifically, the study will

  • Identify and confirm clinically suspected cases of Dengue Fever and Chikungunya viral infections in patients in selected health facilities.
  • Identify other arboviruses that may be present in the study area.
  • Describe Dengue and Chikungunya viral disease patterns in the study population and the phylogeny of the circulating viruses.


  • Sentinel Sites Visits
  • Sample Collection
  • Routine sample processing techniques
    • Molecular – RT-PCR
    • Cell culture
Key Findings 

This preliminary data indicates exposure and suggests the possibility of Dengue and Chikungunya virus circulation in the country which may be contributing to febrile illness

Key Publications  
  1. Amoa-Bosompem, M., Kobayashi, D., Faizal, AN., Kimura S., Antwi A., Agbosu E., Pratt D., Ohashi M., Bonney, Dadzie S., Ejiri H., S, Ohta N., Sawabe K., Iwanaga S., and Isawa H. Screening for tick-borne and tick-associated viruses in ticks collected in Ghana.  Archives of Virology (November 2021).
  2. Agbodzi B, Yousseu FBS, Nemg Simo FB, Kumordjie S, Yeboah C, Mosore  M-T, Bentil RE, Prieto P,  Colston SM, Nimo-Paintsil S,  Fox AT, Bonney JHK,  Ampofo W, Coatsworth HG, Dinglasan RR, Wolfe DM, Wiley MR, Demanou M, Letizia AG, Chikungunya viruses containing the A226V mutation detected retrospectively in Cameroon form a new geographical subclade.  International Journal of Infectious Diseases 113 (2021) 65–73.
  3. Amoa-Bosompem M, Kobayashi D, Murota K, Nur Faizah , Itokawa K, Fujita R, Nyarko Osei H, Agbosu E, Pratt , Kimura , Kwofie KD, Ohashi M, Bonney JH, Dadzie S, Sasaki T, Ohta N, Isawa H, Sawabe K, Iwanaga S. Entomological Assessment of the Status and Risk of Mosquito-borne Arboviral Transmission in Ghana. 2020 January; 12(2):147
  4. Manu SK, Bonney JHK, Pratt D, Abdulai FN, Agbosu EE, Osei-Frimpong P, Adiku TK. Arbovirus circulation among febrile patients at the greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ghana. BMC Research Notes, June 2019; 12:332
  5. Ankrah G, Bonney JHK, Pratt D, Abdulai FN, Agbosu EE, Osei-Frimpong P, Adiku TK. Serological evidence of Zika virus infection in febrile patients at Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Accra Ghana. BMC Research Notes, June 2019; 12:326
  6. Bonney JHK, Hayashi T, Dadzie S, Agbosu E, Pratt D, Nyarko S, Asiedu-Bekoe F, Ido E, Sarkodie B, Ohta N, Yamaoka S. Molecular detection of dengue virus in patients suspected of Ebola virus disease in Ghana. PLoS One. December 19, 2018;13(12):e0208907. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208907. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30566466.
  7. Amoako N, Duodu S, Dennis FE, Bonney J, Asante KP, Ameh J, Mosi L, Hayashi T, Agbosu EE, Pratt D, Operario DJ, Fields B, Liu J, Houpt ER, Armah GE, Stoler J, Awandare GA. Detection of Dengue Virus among Children with Suspected Malaria, Accra, Ghana. Emerging infectious diseases. August 2018; 24(8), 1544-1547.
  8. Kobayashi D, Ohashi M, Osei J, Agbosu E, Agbekudzi A, Joannides J, Fujita R, Sasaki T, Opoku, Bonney JHK, et al. Detection of a novel putative phlebovirus and first isolation of Dugbe virus from ticks in Accra, Ghana. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases Journal. April 2017.
  9. Stoler J, Delimini RK, Bonney JH, Oduro AR, Owusu-Agyei S, Fobil JN, Awandare GA. Evidence of recent dengue exposure among malaria parasite-positive children in three urban centers in Ghana. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Mar;92(3):497-500. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0678. Epub 2015 Jan 12. PubMed PMID: 25582693; PubMed 7Central PMCID: PMC4350537.
External Collaborator(s) 
Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo Japan
Professor Shoji Yamaoka, Dept. of Molecular Virology
Dr Hayashi Takaya, Dept. of Molecular Virology
Prof. Suzuki, Department of Bacterial Pathogenesis, Infection and Host Response
Dr. Franklin Asiedu Bekoe, Director, Public Health, Ghana Health Service
Medical Superintendents / assistance in Manso Nkwanta Health Center, Manso, Ashanti Region, Bomfa Health Center, Ashanti Region, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Greater Accra Region
Japan Agency for Medical Research & Development
Tokyo Medical & Dental University (TMDU)