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Epidemiological study of Rift Valley fever virus in Kigoma, Tanzania. Emmanuel G. Kasanga I. Among livestock, outbreaks of the disease are economically devastating. They are often characterised by large, sweeping abortion storms and have significant mortality in adult livestock. The aim of the current study was to investigate RVFV infection in the Kigoma region, which is nestled under the hills of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley on the edge of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania.
Sera samples were tested for the presence of anti-RVFV antibodies and viral antigen, using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The overall past infections were detected in 22 of the animals, 5.
The Kigoma rural area recorded the higher seroprevalence of The prevalence was This study has confirmed, for the first time, the presence of the RVFV in the Kigoma region four years after the epizootic in Tanzania. The study further suggests that the virus activity exists during the inter-epizootic period, even in regions with no history of RVFV. This was followed by periodic epidemics every 10 to 20 years, for example in , , , and Sindato et al.
In , the disease was initially concentrated in the northern parts of the country that border Kenya Ngorogoro and Monduli in the Arusha region. Outbreaks of the disease are episodic and closely linked to climate variability. It is especially widespread during elevated rainfall, as this facilitates RVFV transmission by vector mosquitoes Linthicum et al. These mosquitoes are thought to initiate outbreaks among livestock; breeds of sheep and cattle are particularly susceptible.
Human infections follow as the result of either direct mosquito transmission or from percutaneous or aerosol routes during the handling of aborted foetal materials or the slaughtering of infected livestock. The acute onset of large numbers of affected individuals and livestock during outbreaks can greatly strain public health and veterinary infrastructures Bird et al.