Isolation of Batai Virus (Bunyaviridae:Bunyavirus) from the Blood of Suspected Malaria Patients in Sudan

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  • Medical Zoology and Epidemiology Divisions, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Central Public Health Laboratories, Cairo, Egypt

From August through November 1988, 77,500 patients with fever presented to the municipal hospital and to eight government health centers in Kassala, a town of approximately 400,000 individuals in eastern Sudan. A diagnosis of malaria, based primarily on clinical presentation, was made in 14,395 individuals during this four-month period; fevers of unknown origin were diagnosed in 29 patients. A Bunyavirus that was antigenically similar or identical to Batai virus by complement fixation and plaque-reduction neutralization tests was recovered from two of 196 sera collected from patients with acute fever admitted to the municipal hospital in Kassala in October 1988. IgM antibody against this virus was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 7% of the sera from patients with acute fever tested and IgG antibody was detected in 61%.