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Risk Factors Associated with Ebola and Marburg Viruses Seroprevalence in Blood Donors in the Republic of Congo

Abstract : Background Ebola and Marburg viruses (family Filoviridae, genera Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus) cause haemorrhagic fevers in humans, often associated with high mortality rates. The presence of antibodies to Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) has been reported in some African countries in individuals without a history of haemorrhagic fever. In this study, we present a MARV and EBOV seroprevalence study conducted amongst blood donors in the Republic of Congo and the analysis of risk factors for contact with EBOV. Methodology and Findings In 2011, we conducted a MARV and EBOV seroprevalence study amongst 809 blood donors recruited in rural (75; 9.3%) and urban (734; 90.7%) areas of the Republic of Congo. Serum titres of IgG antibodies to MARV and EBOV were assessed by indirect double-immunofluorescence microscopy. MARV seroprevalence was 0.5% (4 in 809) without any identified risk factors. Prevalence of IgG to EBOV was 2.5%, peaking at 4% in rural areas and in Pointe Noire. Independent risk factors identified by multivariate analysis were contact with bats and exposure to birds. Conclusions/Significance This MARV and EBOV serological survey performed in the Republic of Congo identifies a probable role for environmental determinants of exposure to EBOV. It highlights the requirement for extending our understanding of the ecological and epidemiological risk of bats (previously identified as a potential ecological reservoir) and birds as vectors of EBOV to humans, and characterising the protection potentially afforded by EBOV-specific antibodies as detected in blood donors.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 9:57:30 AM
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Nanikaly Moyen, Laurence Thirion, Petra Emmerich, Amelia Dzia Lepfoundzou, Hervé Richet, et al.. Risk Factors Associated with Ebola and Marburg Viruses Seroprevalence in Blood Donors in the Republic of Congo. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Public Library of Science, 2015. ⟨hal-01207635⟩

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