Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance

Morogoro, Tanzania

Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance

Morogoro, Tanzania

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Sindato C.,National Institute for Medical Research | Sindato C.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Sindato C.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Stevens K.B.,Economics & Public Health Group | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2016

Background: Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods: Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings: Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance: The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with these characteristics. © 2016 Sindato et al.


Sindato C.,National Institute for Medical Research | Sindato C.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Sindato C.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Pfeiffer D.U.,Economics and Public Health Group | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute arthropod-borne viral zoonotic disease primarily occurring in Africa. Since RVF-like disease was reported in Tanzania in 1930, outbreaks of the disease have been reported mainly from the eastern ecosystem of the Great Rift Valley. This cross-sectional study was carried out to describe the variation in RVF virus (RVFV) seropositivity in domestic ruminants between selected villages in the eastern and western Rift Valley ecosystems in Tanzania, and identify potential risk factors. Three study villages were purposively selected from each of the two Rift Valley ecosystems. Serum samples from randomly selected domestic ruminants (n = 1,435) were tested for the presence of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M (IgM), using RVF enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. Mixed effects logistic regression modelling was used to investigate the association between potential risk factors and RVFV seropositivity. The overall RVFV seroprevalence (n = 1,435) in domestic ruminants was 25.8% and speciesspecific seroprevalence was 29.7%, 27.7%and 22.0% in sheep (n = 148), cattle (n = 756) and goats (n = 531), respectively. The odds of seropositivity were significantly higher in animals sampled from the villages in the eastern than those in the western Rift Valley ecosystem (OR = 1.88, CI: 1.41, 2.51; p<0.001), in animals sampled from villages with soils of good than those with soils of poor water holding capacity (OR = 1.97; 95% CI: 1.58, 3.02; p< 0.001), and in animals which had been introduced than in animals born within the herd (OR = 5.08, CI: 2.74, 9.44; p< 0.001). Compared with animals aged 1-2 years, those aged 3 and 4-5 years had 3.40 (CI: 2.49, 4.64; p< 0.001) and 3.31 (CI: 2.27, 4.82, p< 0.001) times the odds of seropositivity. The findings confirm exposure to RVFV in all the study villages, but with a higher prevalence in the study villages from the eastern Rift Valley ecosystem. Copyright: © 2015 Sindato et al.


Changula K.,University of Zambia | Changula K.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Yoshida R.,Hokkaido University | Noyori O.,Hokkaido University | And 9 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2013

Filoviruses (viruses in the genus Ebolavirus and Marburgvirus in the family Filoviridae) cause severe haemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates. Rapid, highly sensitive, and reliable filovirus-specific assays are required for diagnostics and outbreak control. Characterisation of antigenic sites in viral proteins can aid in the development of viral antigen detection assays such immunochromatography-based rapid diagnosis. We generated a panel of mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the nucleoprotein (NP) of Ebola virus belonging to the species Zaire ebolavirus. The mAbs were divided into seven groups based on the profiles of their specificity and cross-reactivity to other species in the Ebolavirus genus. Using synthetic peptides corresponding to the Ebola virus NP sequence, the mAb binding sites were mapped to seven antigenic regions in the C-terminal half of the NP, including two highly conserved regions among all five Ebolavirus species currently known. Furthermore, we successfully produced species-specific rabbit antisera to synthetic peptides predicted to represent unique filovirus B-cell epitopes. Our data provide useful information for the development of Ebola virus antigen detection assays. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Muyembe-Tamfum J.J.,University of Kinshasa | Mulangu S.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Mulangu S.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Masumu J.,Institute National Of Recherche Biomedicale | And 3 more authors.
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Year: 2012

Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a zoonosis affecting both human and non-human primates (NHP). Outbreaks in Africa occur mainly in the Congo and Nile basins. The first outbreaks of EHF occurred nearly simultaneously in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, former Zaire) and Sudan with very high case fatality rates of 88% and 53%, respectively. The two outbreaks were caused by two distinct species of Ebola virus named Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV) and Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV). The source of transmission remains unknown. After a long period of silence (1980-1993), EHF outbreaks in Africa caused by the two species erupted with increased frequency and new species were discovered, namely CÃte d'Ivoire ebolavirus (CIEBOV) in 1994 in the Ivory Coast and Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV) in 2007 in Uganda. The re-emergence of EHF outbreaks in Gabon and Republic of the Congo were concomitant with an increase in mortality amongst gorillas and chimpanzees infected with ZEBOV. The human outbreaks were related to multiple, unrelated index cases who had contact with dead gorillas or chimpanzees. However, in areas where NHP were rare or absent, as in Kikwit (DRC) in 1995, Mweka (DRC) in 2007, Gulu (Uganda) in 2000 and Yambio (Sudan) in 2004, the hunting and eating of fruit bats may have resulted in the primary transmission of Ebola virus to humans. Human-to-human transmission is associated with direct contact with body fluids or tissues from an infected subject or contaminated objects. Despite several, often heroic field studies, the epidemiology and ecology of Ebola virus, including identification of its natural reservoir hosts, remains a formidable challenge for public health and scientific communities.


Paweska J.T.,South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases | Paweska J.T.,University of Witwatersrand | Jansen van Vuren P.,South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases | Masumu J.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The Egyptian fruit bat, Rousettus aegyptiacus, is currently regarded as a potential reservoir host for Marburg virus (MARV). However, the modes of transmission, the level of viral replication, tissue tropism and viral shedding pattern remains to be described. Captive-bred R. aegyptiacus, including adult males, females and pups were exposed to MARV by different inoculation routes. Blood, tissues, feces and urine from 9 bats inoculated by combination of nasal and oral routes were all negative for the virus and ELISA IgG antibody could not be demonstrated for up to 21 days post inoculation (p.i.). In 21 bats inoculated by a combination of intraperitoneal/subcutaneous route, viremia and the presence of MARV in different tissues was detected on days 2-9 p.i., and IgG antibody on days 9-21 p.i. In 3 bats inoculated subcutaneously, viremia was detected on days 5 and 8 (termination of experiment), with virus isolation from different organs. MARV could not be detected in urine, feces or oral swabs in any of the 3 experimental groups. However, it was detected in tissues which might contribute to horizontal or vertical transmission, e.g. lung, intestines, kidney, bladder, salivary glands, and female reproductive tract. Viremia lasting at least 5 days could also facilitate MARV mechanical transmission by blood sucking arthropods and infections of susceptible vertebrate hosts by direct contact with infected blood. All bats were clinically normal and no gross pathology was identified on post mortem examination. This work confirms the susceptibility of R. aegyptiacus to infection with MARV irrespective of sex and age and contributes to establishing a bat-filovirus experimental model. Further studies are required to uncover the mode of MARV transmission, and to investigate the putative role of R. aegyptiacus as a reservoir host. © 2012 Paweska et al.


Fornace K.M.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Clark E.L.,Royal Veterinary College | Macdonald S.E.,Royal Veterinary College | Namangala B.,University of Zambia | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Small-scale commercial poultry production is emerging as an important form of livestock production in Africa, providing sources of income and animal protein to many poor households, yet the occurrence and impact of coccidiosis on this relatively new production system remains unknown. The primary objective of this study was to examine Eimeria parasite occurrence on small-scale commercial poultry farms in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. Additionally, farm economic viability was measured by calculating the farm gross margin and enterprise budget. Using these economic measures as global assessments of farm productivity, encompassing the diversity present in regional husbandry systems with a measure of fundamental local relevance, we investigated the detection of specific Eimeria species as indicators of farm profitability. Faecal samples and data on production parameters were collected from small-scale (less than 2,000 birds per batch) intensive broiler and layer farms in peri-urban Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. All seven Eimeria species recognised to infect the chicken were detected in each country. Furthermore, two of the three genetic variants (operational taxonomic units) identified previously in Australia have been described outside of Australia for the first time. Detection of the most pathogenic Eimeria species associated with decreased farm profitability and may be considered as an indicator of likely farm performance. While a causal link remains to be demonstrated, the presence of highly pathogenic enteric parasites may pose a threat to profitable, sustainable small-scale poultry enterprises in Africa. © 2013 Fornace et al.


PubMed | Accra Veterinary Laboratory, Royal Veterinary College, Food and Agriculture Organization, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

Small-scale commercial poultry production is emerging as an important form of livestock production in Africa, providing sources of income and animal protein to many poor households, yet the occurrence and impact of coccidiosis on this relatively new production system remains unknown. The primary objective of this study was to examine Eimeria parasite occurrence on small-scale commercial poultry farms in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. Additionally, farm economic viability was measured by calculating the farm gross margin and enterprise budget. Using these economic measures as global assessments of farm productivity, encompassing the diversity present in regional husbandry systems with a measure of fundamental local relevance, we investigated the detection of specific Eimeria species as indicators of farm profitability. Faecal samples and data on production parameters were collected from small-scale (less than 2,000 birds per batch) intensive broiler and layer farms in peri-urban Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia. All seven Eimeria species recognised to infect the chicken were detected in each country. Furthermore, two of the three genetic variants (operational taxonomic units) identified previously in Australia have been described outside of Australia for the first time. Detection of the most pathogenic Eimeria species associated with decreased farm profitability and may be considered as an indicator of likely farm performance. While a causal link remains to be demonstrated, the presence of highly pathogenic enteric parasites may pose a threat to profitable, sustainable small-scale poultry enterprises in Africa.


Changula K.,University of Zambia | Changula K.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Kajihara M.,Hokkaido University | Mweene A.S.,University of Zambia | And 2 more authors.
Microbiology and Immunology | Year: 2014

Filoviral hemorrhagic fever (FHF) is caused by ebolaviruses and marburgviruses, which both belong to the family Filoviridae. Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) are the most likely natural reservoir for marburgviruses and entry into caves and mines that they stay in has often been associated with outbreaks of MVD. On the other hand, the natural reservoir for ebola viruses remains elusive; however, handling of wild animal carcasses has been associated with some outbreaks of EVD. In the last two decades, there has been an increase in the incidence of FHF outbreaks in Africa, some being caused by a newly found virus and some occurring in previously unaffected areas such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, in which the most recent EVD outbreak occurred in 2014. Indeed, the predicted geographic distribution of filoviruses and their potential reservoirs in Africa includes many countries in which FHF has not been reported. To minimize the risk of virus dissemination in previously unaffected areas, there is a need for increased investment in health infrastructure in African countries, policies to facilitate collaboration between health authorities from different countries, implementation of outbreak control measures by relevant multi-disciplinary teams and education of the populations at risk. © 2014 The Societies and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Karimuribo E.D.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Sayalel K.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Beda E.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | Short N.,Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance | And 4 more authors.
The Onderstepoort journal of veterinary research | Year: 2012

Africa has the highest burden of infectious diseases in the world and yet the least capacity for its risk management. It has therefore become increasingly important to search for 'fit-for- purpose' approaches to infectious disease surveillance and thereby targeted disease control. The fact that the majority of human infectious diseases are originally of animal origin means we have to consider One Health (OH) approaches which require inter-sectoral collaboration for custom-made infectious disease surveillance in the endemic settings of Africa. A baseline survey was conducted to assess the current status and performance of human and animal health surveillance systems and subsequently a strategy towards OH surveillance system was developed. The strategy focused on assessing the combination of participatory epidemiological approaches and the deployment of mobile technologies to enhance the effectiveness of disease alerts and surveillance at the point of occurrence, which often lies in remote areas. We selected three study sites, namely the Ngorongoro, Kagera River basin and Zambezi River basin ecosystems. We have piloted and introduced the next-generation Android mobile phones running the EpiCollect application developed by Imperial College to aid geo-spatial and clinical data capture and transmission of this data from the field to the remote Information Technology (IT) servers at the research hubs for storage, analysis, feedback and reporting. We expect that the combination of participatory epidemiology and technology will significantly improve OH disease surveillance in southern Africa.


PubMed | Southern African Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Onderstepoort journal of veterinary research | Year: 2014

A paper-based disease reporting system has been associated with a number of challenges. These include difficulties to submit hard copies of the disease surveillance forms because of poor road infrastructure, weather conditions or challenging terrain, particularly in the developing countries. The system demands re-entry of the data at data processing and analysis points, thus making it prone to introduction of errors during this process. All these challenges contribute to delayed acquisition, processing and response to disease events occurring in remote hard to reach areas. Our study piloted the use of mobile phones in order to transmit near to real-time data from remote districts in Tanzania (Ngorongoro and Ngara), Burundi (Muyinga) and Zambia (Kazungula and Sesheke). Two technologies namely, digital and short messaging services were used to capture and transmit disease event data in the animal and human health sectors in the study areas based on a server-client model. Smart phones running the Android operating system (minimum required version: Android 1.6), and which supported open source application, Epicollect, as well as the Open Data Kit application, were used in the study. These phones allowed collection of geo-tagged data, with the opportunity of including static and moving images related to disease events. The project supported routine disease surveillance systems in the ministries responsible for animal and human health in Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as data collection for researchers at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. During the project implementation period between 2011 and 2013, a total number of 1651 diseases event-related forms were submitted, which allowed reporters to include GPS coordinates and photographs related to the events captured. It was concluded that the new technology-based surveillance system is useful in providing near to real-time data, with potential for enhancing timely response in rural remote areas of Africa. We recommended adoption of the proven technologies to improve disease surveillance, particularly in the developing countries.

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