Determination of Seroprevalence of Marburgvirus among Humans in Isiro,Oriental Province,Democratic Republic of Congo

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Sabiti, Sabin Nundu
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The University of Zambia
Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus are among the most virulent pathogens for humans and non-human primates (NHPs) causing outbreaks of fulminant hemorrhagic fever. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), outbreaks caused by Marburgvirus have occurred exclusively in Oriental Province. This region borders Uganda where three outbreaks of Marburg virus disease (MVD) occurred in 2007, 2012 and recently in 2014. In this study, a sero-survey was conducted to generate up-to-date data on the circulation of Marburgvirus in humans in Isiro, an area of unconfirmed MVD outbreak in Oriental province in order to better understand the epidemiology of the disease in Isiro/DRC. Blood samples were collected during July 2013 from 400 apparently healthy humans in Isiro. Of these, a total of 172 serum samples were analyzed using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay to detect Marburgvirus-specific IgG. Of the 172 individuals, the proportion of males was 52.9 percent. The median age was 36 years. The prevalence of Marburgvirus-specific IgG was 4.7 percent overall. This study shows the presence of Marburgvirus-specific IgG antibodies in humans in Isiro and indicates that the Marburgvirus IgG seropositive individuals may have been exposed to Marburgvirus possibly through contact with exposed populations or some unidentified animal reservoir host (e.g. fruit bats). Furthermore, these findings highlight the need for a country-wide surveillance of MVD in humans for mitigation purposes.
Ebola virus disease--Democratic Republic of Congo , Marburg virus disease--Democratic Republic of Congo