Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, RDP Livestock Services, Applied Research Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, North Grafton, Massachusetts, The Netherlands
A repository of domestic animal sera collected in Niger between 1984 and 1988 was assayed for antibody against two zoonotic hemorrhagic fever viruses known to be present in the West African Sahel. A total of 2,540 serum samples from 2,324 cattle, sheep, goats, and camels were tested by an IgG-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the 80% plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT80) for Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus antibody. Of the 2,540 sera tested for RVF-specific IgG antibody, 1,676 sera from cattle, sheep, and goats were examined for RVF-specific IgM antibody by ELISA. A subset of 2,263 sera were examined for evidence of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus antibody by an IgG-specific ELISA. Antibody against CCHF virus was found to be most prevalent in adult cattle (422 of 732 or 57.7% positive) sampled at nine locations in the Niamey area. The highest prevalence for RVF neutralizing antibodies was found in camels from the Agadez Department with 67 (47.5%) of 141 positive. The results indicate that both CCHF and RVF viruses are circulating in Niger and are potential zoonotic health risks.