Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Antibodies in Nigerian Populations

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  • * Department of Virology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
  • | Federal Ministry of Health, Ikoyi, Lagos
  • | Special Pathogens Branch, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Using the immunofluorescence test, a serosurvey for antibodies to five viral agents associated with hemorrhagic febrile infections was conducted with 1,677 human sera from different parts of Nigeria. Three hundred fifty-seven (21.3%) were positive for Lassa virus antibody, while antibodies to Rift Valley fever virus were detected in 42 (2.5%) of the sera. Testing for Rift Valley fever virus antibody was confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test. Antibodies to Ebola and Marburg viruses were detected in 30 and 29 sera, respectively. Of the 357 Lassa virus antibody-positive sera, 297 (83.2%) were positive for Lassa only. In contrast, sera positive for Marburg were positive in combination with Lassa, Ebola, or Rift Valley fever viruses. Antibodies to Lassa and Rift Valley fever viruses were found in all locations in Nigeria, whereas Ebola and Marburg antibodies were found mainly in the northern Savanna zones of Benue and Gongola, but not in the rain forest area of Ondo.

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