Serologic evidence of exposure to Rift Valley fever virus detected in Tunisia

A. Bosworth, T. Ghabbari, Stuart Dowall, A. Varghese, W. Fares, Roger Hewson, E. Zhioua, M. Chakroun, H. Tiouiri, M. Ben Jemaa, A. Znazen, A. Letaief*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rift Valley fever virus (RVFv) is capable of causing dramatic outbreaks amongst economically important animal species and is capable of causing severe symptoms and mortality in humans. RVFv is known to circulate widely throughout East Africa; serologic evidence of exposure has also been found in some northern African countries, including Mauritania. This study aimed to ascertain whether RVFv is circulating in regions beyond its known geographic range. Samples from febrile patients (n= 181) and nonfebrile healthy agricultural and slaughterhouse workers (n= 38) were collected during the summer of 2014 and surveyed for exposure to RVFv by both serologic tests and PCR. Of the 219 samples tested, 7.8% of nonfebrile participants showed immunoglobulin G reactivity to RVFv nucleoprotein and 8.3% of febrile patients showed immunoglobulin M reactivity, with the latter samples indicating recent exposure to the virus. Our results suggest an active circulation of RVFv and evidence of human exposure in the population of Tunisia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalNew Microbes and New Infections
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Arbovirus
  • Seroprevalence
  • Tunisia
  • Unexplained acute fever
  • Vectors

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