Next Article in Journal
Alcohol-and-HIV-Induced Lysosomal Dysfunction Regulates Extracellular Vesicles Secretion in Vitro and in Liver-Humanized Mice
Previous Article in Journal
The Cardiovascular Therapeutic Potential of Propolis—A Comprehensive Review
Article

Lassa Virus Circulation in Small Mammal Populations in Bo District, Sierra Leone

1
Mercy Hospital Research Laboratory, Bo, Sierra Leone
2
Department of Virology, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, 20359 Hamburg, Germany
3
Centre for Virus Research, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK
4
College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown PMB 595, Sierra Leone
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2021, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010028
Received: 25 November 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 28 December 2020 / Published: 5 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Infection Biology)
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus (LASV). It is a deadly rodent-borne zoonosis with outbreaks occurring mostly in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria, in West Africa. In Sierra Leone, surveillance activities of LASV focus mainly on the Kenema area in the eastern region, known to be the epicentre. Little is known about the presence of the virus in the Bo area, where Mastomys natalensis and Rattus rattus share habitats with humans. Our study investigated the circulation and phylogeny of new LASV strains and virus seroprevalence in rodent populations of villages in Bo district. Information provided here will be of great importance in prioritizing areas for Lassa fever surveillance and preventive measures to mitigate future outbreaks. Our rodent longitudinal survey carried out over two years (2014–2016) identified Mastomys natalensis as the most prevalent species. While seropositive small mammals were found in every village, the four Mastomys natalensis rodents that tested PCR-positive for Lassa virus were found in only two villages. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these sequences belong to the Sierra Leonean clade, within lineage IV. In conclusion, LASV is present, with low circulation, in small mammals in rural settings around Bo.
Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus LASV, which was first isolated in the rodent Mastomys natalensis in 1974 in Kenema, Sierra Leone. As little is known about the abundance and the presence of LASV in rodents living in the Bo area, we carried out a small mammal longitudinal population survey. A standardized trapping session was performed in various habitats and seasons in six villages over two years (2014–2016) and samples collected were tested for arenavirus IgG and LASV. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis was performed on sequences identified by PCR. A total of 1490 small mammals were collected, and 16 rodent species were identified, with M. natalensis (355, 24%) found to be the most prevalent species. Forty-one (2.8%) samples were IgG positive, and 31 of these were trapped in homes and 10 in surrounding vegetation. Twenty-nine of 41 seropositive rodents were M. natalensis. We detected four LASV by PCR in two villages, all found in M. natalensis. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequences were distributed within the Sierra Leonean clade within lineage IV, distinguishing a Bo sub-clade older than a Kenema sub-clade. Compared to other settings, we found a low abundance of M. natalensis and a low circulation of LASV in rodents in villages around Bo district. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lassa virus; seroprevalence; Mastomys natalensis; abundance; phylogenetics; Bo; Sierra Leone; West Africa Lassa virus; seroprevalence; Mastomys natalensis; abundance; phylogenetics; Bo; Sierra Leone; West Africa
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Bangura, U.; Buanie, J.; Lamin, J.; Davis, C.; Bongo, G.N.; Dawson, M.; Ansumana, R.; Sondufu, D.; Thomson, E.C.; Sahr, F.; Fichet-Calvet, E. Lassa Virus Circulation in Small Mammal Populations in Bo District, Sierra Leone. Biology 2021, 10, 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010028

AMA Style

Bangura U, Buanie J, Lamin J, Davis C, Bongo GN, Dawson M, Ansumana R, Sondufu D, Thomson EC, Sahr F, Fichet-Calvet E. Lassa Virus Circulation in Small Mammal Populations in Bo District, Sierra Leone. Biology. 2021; 10(1):28. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010028

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bangura, Umaru, Jacob Buanie, Joyce Lamin, Christopher Davis, Gédéon N. Bongo, Michael Dawson, Rashid Ansumana, Dianah Sondufu, Emma C. Thomson, Foday Sahr, and Elisabeth Fichet-Calvet. 2021. "Lassa Virus Circulation in Small Mammal Populations in Bo District, Sierra Leone" Biology 10, no. 1: 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10010028

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop