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Article

Prevalence of Orthohantavirus-Reactive Antibodies in Humans and Peri-Domestic Rodents in Northern Ethiopia

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Department of Biology, Mekelle University, Mekelle P.O. Box 3102, Ethiopia
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Institute of Mountain Research & Development, Mekelle University, Mekelle P.O. Box 231, Ethiopia
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Institute of Vertebrate Biology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 65 Brno, Czech Republic
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Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, 901 85 Umeå, Sweden
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Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology, Umeå University, 901 85 Umeå, Sweden
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College Health Sciences, Mekelle University, Mekelle P.O. Box 231, Ethiopia
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Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 21 Prague, Czech Republic
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Evolutionary Ecology Group, University of Antwerp, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rainer Günter Ulrich and Gerald Heckel
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061054
Received: 29 March 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 29 May 2021 / Published: 2 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rodent-Borne Viruses)
In 2012, Tigray orthohantavirus was discovered in Ethiopia, but its seasonal infection in small mammals, and whether it poses a risk to humans was unknown. The occurrence of small mammals, rodents and shrews, in human inhabitations in northern Ethiopia is affected by season and presence of stone bunds. We sampled small mammals in two seasons from low- and high-density stone bund fields adjacent to houses and community-protected semi-natural habitats in Atsbi and Hagere Selam, where Tigray orthohantavirus was first discovered. We collected blood samples from both small mammals and residents using filter paper. The presence of orthohantavirus-reactive antibodies in blood was then analyzed using immunofluorescence assay (human samples) and enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (small mammal samples) with Puumala orthohantavirus as antigen. Viral RNA was detected by RT-PCR using small mammal blood samples. Total orthohantavirus prevalence (antibodies or virus RNA) in the small mammals was 3.37%. The positive animals were three Stenocephalemys albipes rats (prevalence in this species = 13.04%). The low prevalence made it impossible to determine whether season and stone bunds were associated with orthohantavirus prevalence in the small mammals. In humans, we report the first detection of orthohantavirus-reactive IgG antibodies in Ethiopia (seroprevalence = 5.26%). S. albipes lives in close proximity to humans, likely increasing the risk of zoonotic transmission. View Full-Text
Keywords: orthohantavirus; rodents; rural community; risk factors; Ethiopia orthohantavirus; rodents; rural community; risk factors; Ethiopia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Meheretu, Y.; Granberg, Å.; Berhane, G.; Khalil, H.; Lwande, O.W.; Mitiku, M.; Welegerima, K.; Bellocq, J.G.d.; Bryja, J.; Abreha, H.; Leirs, H.; Ecke, F.; Evander, M. Prevalence of Orthohantavirus-Reactive Antibodies in Humans and Peri-Domestic Rodents in Northern Ethiopia. Viruses 2021, 13, 1054. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061054

AMA Style

Meheretu Y, Granberg Å, Berhane G, Khalil H, Lwande OW, Mitiku M, Welegerima K, Bellocq JGd, Bryja J, Abreha H, Leirs H, Ecke F, Evander M. Prevalence of Orthohantavirus-Reactive Antibodies in Humans and Peri-Domestic Rodents in Northern Ethiopia. Viruses. 2021; 13(6):1054. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061054

Chicago/Turabian Style

Meheretu, Yonas, Åsa Granberg, Gebregiorgis Berhane, Hussein Khalil, Olivia W. Lwande, Mengistu Mitiku, Kiros Welegerima, Joëlle G.d. Bellocq, Josef Bryja, Hagos Abreha, Herwig Leirs, Frauke Ecke, and Magnus Evander. 2021. "Prevalence of Orthohantavirus-Reactive Antibodies in Humans and Peri-Domestic Rodents in Northern Ethiopia" Viruses 13, no. 6: 1054. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061054

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