Background: During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of Zika were reported from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, India in 2021. The Dengue and Chikungunya negative samples were retrospectively screened to determine the presence of the Zika virus from different geographical regions of India. Methods: During May to October 2021, the clinical samples of 1475 patients, across 13 states and a union territory of India were screened and re-tested for Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika by CDC Trioplex Real time RT-PCR. The Zika rRTPCR positive samples were further screened with anti-Zika IgM and Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test. Next generation sequencing was used for further molecular characterization. Results: The positivity was observed for Zika (67), Dengue (121), and Chikungunya (10) amongst screened cases. The co-infections of Dengue/Chikungunya, Dengue/Zika, and Dengue/Chikungunya/Zika were also observed. All Zika cases were symptomatic with fever (84%) and rash (78%) as major presenting symptoms. Of them, four patients had respiratory distress, one presented with seizures, and one with suspected microcephaly at birth. The Asian Lineage of Zika and all four serotypes of Dengue were found in circulation. Conclusion: Our study indicates the spread of the Zika virus to several states of India and an urgent need to strengthen its surveillance.
From March to June 2021, India experienced a deadly second wave of COVID-19, with an increased number of post-vaccination breakthrough infections reported across the country. To understand the possible reason for these breakthroughs, we collected 677 clinical samples (throat swab/nasal swabs) of individuals from 17 states/Union Territories of the country who had received two doses (n = 592) and one dose (n = 85) of vaccines and tested positive for COVID-19. These cases were telephonically interviewed and clinical data were analyzed. A total of 511 SARS-CoV-2 genomes were recovered with genome coverage of higher than 98% from both groups. Analysis of both groups determined that 86.69% (n = 443) of them belonged to the Delta variant, along with Alpha, Kappa, Delta AY.1, and Delta AY.2. The Delta variant clustered into four distinct sub-lineages. Sub-lineage I had mutations in ORF1ab A1306S, P2046L, P2287S, V2930L, T3255I, T3446A, G5063S, P5401L, and A6319V, and in N G215C; Sub-lineage II had mutations in ORF1ab P309L, A3209V, V3718A, G5063S, P5401L, and ORF7a L116F; Sub-lineage III had mutations in ORF1ab A3209V, V3718A, T3750I, G5063S, and P5401L and in spike A222V; Sub-lineage IV had mutations in ORF1ab P309L, D2980N, and F3138S and spike K77T. This study indicates that majority of the breakthrough COVID-19 clinical cases were infected with the Delta variant, and only 9.8% cases required hospitalization, while fatality was observed in only 0.4% cases. This clearly suggests that the vaccination does provide reduction in hospital admission and mortality.