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Inter-epidemic Acquisition of Rift Valley Fever Virus in Humans in Tanzania.

Sumaye, R. D., Abatih, E. N., Thiry, E., Amuri, M., Berkvens, D. and Geubbels, E. (2015) Inter-epidemic Acquisition of Rift Valley Fever Virus in Humans in Tanzania. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 10 (2). e0003536. ISSN 1935-2735

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Abstract

In East Africa, epidemics of Rift Valley fever (RVF) occur in cycles of 5-15 years following unusually high rainfall. RVF transmission during inter-epidemic periods (IEP) generally passes undetected in absence of surveillance in mammalian hosts and vectors. We studied IEP transmission of RVF and evaluated the demographic, behavioural, occupational and spatial determinants of past RVF infection. Between March and August 2012 we collected blood samples, and administered a risk factor questionnaire among 606 inhabitants of 6 villages in the seasonally inundated Kilombero Valley, Tanzania. ELISA tests were used to detect RVFV IgM and IgG antibodies in serum samples. Risk factors were examined by mixed effects logistic regression. RVF virus IgM antibodies, indicating recent RVFV acquisition, were detected in 16 participants, representing 2.6% overall and in 22.5% of inhibition ELISA positives (n = 71). Four of 16 (25.0%) IgM positives and 11/71 (15.5%) of individuals with inhibition ELISA sero-positivity reported they had had no previous contact with host animals. Sero-positivity on inhibition ELISA was 11.7% (95% CI 9.2-14.5) and risk was elevated with age (odds ratio (OR) 1.03 per year; 95% CI 1.01-1.04), among milkers (OR 2.19; 95% CI 1.23-3.91), and individuals eating raw meat (OR 4.17; 95% CI 1.18-14.66). Households keeping livestock had a higher probability of having members with evidence of past infection (OR = 3.04, 95% CI = 1.42-6.48) than those that do not keep livestock. There is inter-epidemic acquisition of RVFV in Kilombero Valley inhabitants. In the wake of declining malaria incidence, these findings underscore the need for clinicians to consider RVF in the differential diagnosis for febrile illnesses. Several types of direct contact with livestock are important risk factors for past infection with RVFV in this study's population. However, at least part of RVFV transmission appears to have occurred through bites of infected mosquitoes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Rift Valley fever, Kilombero Valley, RVF virus, Tanzania
Subjects: Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2015 06:31
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2015 06:31
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/3166

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