Abstract

Before the outbreak that reached the Americas in 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) circulated in Asia and the Pacific: these past epidemics can be highly informative on the key parameters driving virus transmission, such as the basic reproduction number (R0). We compare two compartmental models with different mosquito representations, using surveillance and seroprevalence data for several ZIKV outbreaks in Pacific islands (Yap, Micronesia 2007, Tahiti and Moorea, French Polynesia 2013-2014, New Caledonia 2014). Models are estimated in a stochastic framework with recent Bayesian techniques. R0 for the Pacific ZIKV epidemics is estimated between 1.5 and 4.1, the smallest islands displaying higher and more variable values. This relatively low range of R0 suggests that intervention strategies developed for other flaviviruses should enable as, if not more effective control of ZIKV. Our study also highlights the importance of seroprevalence data for precise quantitative analysis of pathogen propagation, to design prevention and control strategies.

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