To assess the public health relevance of Lassa arenavirus and hantavirus infections in a subpopulation of recently febrile patients.methods
In a human seroprevalence study, we enrolled 253 participants on the basis of reported high fever during the last 3 months. They represented roughly 20% of the population of Bantou and Tanganya villages. Comprehensive serological screening and confirmatory assays (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence assay, Western blot analysis) with several Lassa virus and hantavirus antigens were used to ensure high specificity and broad detection capacity.results
We found a Lassa IgG prevalence of 40.3% (102/253) and a hantavirus IgG prevalence of 1.2% (3/253). The Lassa IgM prevalence reached 2.8% (7/253).conclusions
High Lassa virus seroprevalence in recently febrile patients indicates that Lassa fever is a significant public health problem in the region. Human hantavirus infections also occur in the region but their public health relevance remains to be determined.