Mosquito-borne viral infections have in recent years, become a public health threat globally. This review aimed to provide an overview of the ecological and epidemiological profiles of mosquito-borne viral infections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
A search of literature was conducted using Google Scholar, PubMed and the WHO website using the following keywords: “Democratic Republic of the Congo”, “Zaire”, “Belgian Congo” and either of the following: “mosquito-borne virus”, “arbovirus”, “yellow fever”, “dengue”, “chikungunya”, “West Nile”, “Rift Valley fever”, “O’nyong’nyong”, “Zika”, “epidemiology”, “ecology”, “morbidity”, “mortality”. Published articles in English or French covering a period between 1912 and October 2018 were reviewed.
A total of 37 articles were included in the review. The findings indicate that the burden of mosquito-borne viral infections in DRC is increasing over time and space. The north-western, north-eastern, western and central regions have the highest burden of mosquito-borne viral infections compared to south and eastern highland regions. Yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue, Zika, Rift Valley fever, West Nile and O’nyong’nyong have been reported in the country. These mosquito-borne viruses were found circulating in human, wildlife and domestic animals. Yellow fever and chikungunya outbreaks have been frequently reported. Aedes aegypti and Ae. simpsoni were documented as the main vectors of most of the mosquito-borne viral infections. Heavy rains, human movements, forest encroachment and deforestation were identified as drivers of mosquito-borne viruses occurrence in DRC.
Mosquito-borne viral infections are becoming common and a serious public health problem in DRC. In the current context of climate change, there is urgent need to improve understanding on ecological and epidemiology of the diseases and strengthen surveillance systems for prompt response to epidemics in DRC.