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Concept: Federated States of Micronesia


Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947 and is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which also act as vectors for dengue and chikungunya viruses throughout much of the tropical world. In 2007, an outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia sparked public health concern. In 2013, the virus began to spread across other parts of Oceania and in 2015, a large outbreak in Latin America began in Brazil. Possible associations with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome observed in this outbreak have raised concerns about continued global spread of Zika virus, prompting its declaration as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. We conducted species distribution modelling to map environmental suitability for Zika. We show a large portion of tropical and sub-tropical regions globally have suitable environmental conditions with over 2.17 billion people inhabiting these areas.

Concepts: AIDS, Public health, United States, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Brazil, World Health Organization, Federated States of Micronesia


The taxonomy, biology, and population status of flying foxes (Pteropus spp.) remain little investigated in the Caroline Islands, Micronesia, where multiple endemic taxa occur. Our study evaluated the taxonomic relationships between the flying foxes of the Mortlock Islands (a subgroup of the Carolines) and two closely related taxa from elsewhere in the region, and involved the first ever field study of the Mortlock population. Through a review of historical literature, the name Pteropus pelagicus Kittlitz, 1836 is resurrected to replace the prevailing but younger name Pteropus phaeocephalus Thomas, 1882 for the flying fox of the Mortlocks. On the basis of cranial and external morphological comparisons, Pteropus pelagicus is united taxonomically with Pteropus insularis “Hombron and Jacquinot, 1842” (with authority herein emended to Jacquinot and Pucheran 1853), and the two formerly monotypic species are now treated as subspecies - Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus in the Mortlocks, and Pteropus phaeocephalus insularis on the islands of Chuuk Lagoon and Namonuito Atoll. The closest relative of Pteropus pelagicus is Pteropus tokudae Tate, 1934, of Guam, which is best regarded as a distinct species. Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus is the only known resident bat in the Mortlock Islands, a chain of more than 100 atoll islands with a total land area of <12 km(2). Based on field observations in 2004, we estimated a population size of 925-1,200 bats, most of which occurred on Satawan and Lukunor Atolls, the two largest and southernmost atolls in the chain. Bats were absent on Nama Island and possibly extirpated from Losap Atoll in the northern Mortlocks. Resident Mortlockese indicated bats were more common in the past, but that the population generally has remained stable in recent years. Most Pteropus phaeocephalus pelagicus roosted alone or in groups of 5-10 bats; a roost of 27 was the largest noted. Diet is comprised of at least eight plant species, with breadfruit (Artocarpus spp.) being a preferred food. Records of females with young (April, July) and pregnant females (July) suggest an extended breeding season. Pteropus pelagicus pelagicus appears most threatened by the prospect of sea level rise associated with global climate change, which has the potential to submerge or reduce the size of atolls in the Mortlocks. Occasional severe typhoons probably temporarily reduce populations on heavily damaged atolls, but hunting and ongoing habitat loss are not current problems for the subspecies.

Concepts: Caroline Islands, Atoll, Pteropus, Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk, Namonuito Atoll, Yap, Pohnpei


Nine suvanine analogs including suvanine phenethylammonium salt and two new compounds were isolated from the marine sponge Coscinoderma sp., collected from Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by 2D NMR and HRMS analyses. Suvanine and a new analog exhibited weak but selective cytotoxicity against colon (HCT-15), lung (NCI-H23), stomach (NUGC-3), and prostate (PC-3) cancer cell lines.

Concepts: Cell, Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Prostate cancer, U.S. state, Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk


Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 (1). Before 2007, only sporadic human disease cases were reported from countries in Africa and Asia. In 2007, the first documented outbreak of Zika virus disease was reported in Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia; 73% of the population aged ≥3 years is estimated to have been infected (2). Subsequent outbreaks occurred in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific (3). In May 2015, the World Health Organization reported the first local transmission of Zika virus in the Region of the Americas (Americas), with autochthonous cases identified in Brazil (4). In December, the Ministry of Health estimated that 440,000-1,300,000 suspected cases of Zika virus disease had occurred in Brazil in 2015 (5). By January 20, 2016, locally-transmitted cases had been reported to the Pan American Health Organization from Puerto Rico and 19 other countries or territories in the Americas* (Figure) (6). Further spread to other countries in the region is being monitored closely.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infection, United States, England, Brazil, Islam, Latin America, Federated States of Micronesia


Zika virus (ZIKV) is an emerging arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) belonging to the Flaviviridae family and Flavivirus genus. ZIKV was first isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947 [1]. Subsequently, sporadic human infections were reported in Africa and Asia. In 2007, the first large documented ZIKV outbreak was reported from Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia [2]. No further transmission was identified in the Pacific until October 2013 when French Polynesia (FP) reported the first cases; a subsequent explosive outbreak resulted in an estimated 28,000 cases seeking medical care (~11% of the population) [3,4]. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Pacific Ocean, Oceania, All rights reserved, Caroline Islands, Copyright, Polynesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap


An epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) illness that occurred in July 2007 on Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia prompted entomological studies to identify both the primary vector(s) involved in transmission and the ecological parameters contributing to the outbreak. Larval and pupal surveys were performed to identify the major containers serving as oviposition habitat for the likely vector(s). Adult mosquitoes were also collected by backpack aspiration, light trap, and gravid traps at select sites around the capital city. The predominant species found on the island was Aedes (Stegomyia) hensilli. No virus isolates were obtained from the adult field material collected, nor did any of the immature mosquitoes that were allowed to emerge to adulthood contain viable virus or nucleic acid. Therefore, laboratory studies of the probable vector, Ae. hensilli, were undertaken to determine the likelihood of this species serving as a vector for Zika virus and other arboviruses. Infection rates of up to 86%, 62%, and 20% and dissemination rates of 23%, 80%, and 17% for Zika, chikungunya, and dengue-2 viruses respectively, were found supporting the possibility that this species served as a vector during the Zika outbreak and that it could play a role in transmitting other medically important arboviruses.

Concepts: DNA, Biology, Virus, Mosquito, Nucleic acid, Aedes aegypti, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap


Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne alphavirus which causes an acute febrile illness associated with polyarthralgia. Beginning in August 2013, clinicians from the Yap State Department of Health in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) identified an unusual cluster of illness which was subsequently confirmed to be chikungunya virus disease. Chikungunya virus disease previously had not been recognized in FSM.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Arthralgia, Chikungunya, Alphavirus, O'nyong'nyong virus, Semliki Forest Virus, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap


There is very limited data available on the prevalence of Bancroftian filariasis in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Considerable attempts to eliminate the disease had occurred in the Pacific region by the year 2003, and the prevalence in FSM was thought to be sufficiently low that the region was considered non-endemic. However, a survey conducted in 2003 on an isolated atoll of FSM, Satawal Island, challenged that assumption.

Concepts: Pacific Ocean, Australia, Island, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia


The dynamic relationship between reefs and the people who utilize them at a subsistence level is poorly understood. This paper characterizes atoll-scale patterns in shallow coral reef habitat and fish community structure, and correlates these with environmental characteristics and anthropogenic factors, critical to conservation efforts for the reefs and the people who depend on them. Hierarchical clustering analyses by site for benthic composition and fish community resulted in the same 3 major clusters: cluster 1-oceanic (close proximity to deep water) and uninhabited (low human impact); cluster 2-oceanic and inhabited (high human impact); and cluster 3-lagoonal (facing the inside of the lagoon) and inhabited (highest human impact). Distance from village, reef exposure to deep water and human population size had the greatest effect in predicting the fish and benthic community structure. Our study demonstrates a strong association between benthic and fish community structure and human use across the Ulithi Atoll (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and confirms a pattern observed by local people that an ‘opportunistic’ scleractinian coral (Montipora sp.) is associated with more highly impacted reefs. Our findings suggest that small human populations (subsistence fishing) can nevertheless have considerable ecological impacts on reefs due, in part, to changes in fishing practices rather than overfishing per se, as well as larger global trends. Findings from this work can assist in building local capacity to manage reef resources across an atoll-wide scale, and illustrates the importance of anthropogenic impact even in small communities.

Concepts: Population, Coral reef, Hierarchy, World population, Lagoon, Federated States of Micronesia, Yap, Ulithi


Zika virus (ZIKV) was first isolated in 1947 in a rhesus monkey from the Zika forest of Uganda. Until 2007, only 14 human cases were reported. The first large human outbreak occurred in 2007 (Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific) followed by French Polynesia in 2013 and Brazil in 2015. The virus is mainly transmitted through Aedes mosquito bites, but sexual and post-transfusion transmissions have been reported. Symptoms include low-grade fever, maculopapular rash, conjunctivitis, myalgia, arthralgia, and asthenia. During the recent outbreaks in French Polynesia and Brazil, ZIKV infection has been associated with two major complications: microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Since fetal infection includes other birth defects, congenital Zika syndrome has been used to define in utero infection. The majority of sexual transmission occurred from a symptomatic male to a female, but female-to-male and male-to-male transmission have been reported. Asymptomatic male-to-female transmission has also been described. Importantly, ZIKV RNA can persist at least 6 months in semen. The male urogenital tract may therefore act as a reservoir for the virus. ZIKV RNA was detected in a cervical swab of a patient 3 days after presenting the classic symptoms suggesting a potential tropism for the female genital tract. Long-lasting presence of ZIKV RNA might not indicate that the individual is infectious but makes recommendation for couples potentially exposed to the virus and willing to conceive difficult. It will also be important to determine whether genital ZIKV infection might have a deleterious effect on male and female fertility.

Concepts: HIV, Human, Reproduction, Infection, Dengue fever, Clitoris, Measles, Federated States of Micronesia