Volume 55, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



In this population-based study, we correlated possible risk factors for rodent-to-human transmission of Lassa virus with markers of Lassa fever in two different regions of the Republic of Guinea (Prefectures of Pita and Gueckedou). Antibody prevalence was 2.6% (6 of 232) in Pita compared with 14.0% (105 of 751) in Gueckedou, with up to 35.0% seropositivity in selected villages of the higher prevalence area. We observed three major risk factors in Gueckedou favoring Lassa virus transmission: rodent infestation was much higher, food was more often stored uncovered and most strikingly, peridomestic rodents were hunted as a protein source by 91.5% of the population as opposed to 0% in Pita. To control for the confounding effects of differences in rodent infestation and food storage, rodent consumption was analyzed as a risk factor for transmission of Lassa virus comparing rodent consumers (RC) and nonconsumers (NC) in Gueckedou only: 14.6% of RC had Lassa virus antibodies versus 7.4% of NC ( = 0.1) and 23.0% of RC reported a history of a febrile illness with hearing loss (the most common sequel of Lassa fever) versus 6.1% of NC ( = 0.003).


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