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Meschi S.,L Spallanzani National Institute For Infectious Diseases | Sane Schepisi M.,L Spallanzaninational Institute For Infectious Diseases | Nicastri E.,L Spallanzani National Institute For Infectious Diseases | Bevilacqua N.,L Spallanzani National Institute For Infectious Diseases | And 12 more authors.
Journal of Medical Virology | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and the immunization status for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in febrile patients in two districts of the United Republic of Tanzania. Between February and March 2007, blood samples were collected in Pemba Island and Tosamaganga from 336 outpatients and sent to the Virology Laboratory in Rome (Italy) for testing. HHV-8DNA and HBV-DNA were amplified by two in-house molecular methods, anti-HHV-8 antibody titers were determined by an immunofluorescence assay (IFA), and anti-HCV, HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc were evaluated by microplate enzyme immunoassay (MEIA). The seroprevalence of HHV-8 was 30.7% (96/313). In Pemba Island, the prevalence was lower than in Tosamaganga (14.4% vs. 46.3%). A higher prevalence of low titers of HHV-8 IgG (<1:80, 81%) was found among those under 5 years of age. HHV-8 DNA was detected in six seropositive patients (6.7%). The prevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc was 4.3%, 37.6%, and 29.3%, respectively. Out of 277 patients, 70 had had a previous infection (25.3%). One case of occult hepatitis was found. The cover of hepatitis B vaccination was higher among children born after 2002 (66.7%) than in patients born before 2002. HHV-8 infection is endemic in Tanzania and the seroprevalence rate was higher in the mainland than on Pemba Island. The 3.9% percentage of HBsAg in children younger than 4 years of age suggests that increased efforts are required in order to achieve universal and compulsory immunization of children against HBV. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Vairo F.,National Institute for Infectious Diseases | Nicastri E.,National Institute for Infectious Diseases | Meschi S.,National Institute for Infectious Diseases | Schepisi M.S.,National Institute for Infectious Diseases | And 10 more authors.
International Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2012

Objective: Evidence available to date indicates that dengue viruses 1, 2, and 3 could be among the causes of acute fever in eastern Africa. Recently, four reports on dengue infection in travelers and residents have raised concerns over the occurrence of dengue fever in mainland Tanzania and in Zanzibar. The objective of this study was to provide seroprevalence data on dengue infection in Tanzania. Methods: This study was conducted in 2007 at two peripheral hospitals, one on Pemba Island, Zanzibar and one in Tosamaganga, Iringa Region, mainland Tanzania. Two hundred and two consecutive febrile outpatients were studied for antibodies and viral RNA to assess the circulation of dengue virus in Tanzania. Results: A seroprevalence of 7.7% was found on Pemba Island and of 1.8% was found in Tosamaganga. No acute cases and no previous infections among patients under 11 years of age were detected. Conclusion: These findings provide the first baseline data on dengue seroprevalence in the country. No recent dengue virus circulation in Tanzania and in the Zanzibar archipelago up until the early 1990s is reported. © 2011 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

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