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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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