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Tracing the newly discovered Tigray Hantavirus among rural farmers in Tigray, Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study of seroprevalence and its association to land use, rodent exposure and other potential risk factors
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae, genus Hantavirus) are rodent borne RNA-viruses known to cause severe zoonotic diseases in humans in Europe, Asia and the Americas. However, in Africa, it is unknown whether Hantaviruses cause disease. In 2010 the new Tigray Hantavirus(TIGV) was discovered in northern Ethiopia, but it is yet unknown whether it could infect humans, and the risk factors associated withinfection. Therefore, the aims of this pilot study was to investigate whether TIGV infects humans and estimate the seroprevalence against TIGV in the rural farming populations in the areas of Atsbi and Hagare selam where the virus were first discovered. The aim was also to examine the association between seroprevalence and potential risk factors, especially the density of stone bunds (SBD) which is known to impact the density of rodents.

Blood samples for IFA-analyse of antibodies were collected cross-sectionally from the study populations and data on riskfactors (Gender, Age, Cat, Sightings of rodents, Contact with rodents, Rodent bite and Stone bund age and SBD) were collected via a questionnaire to the same population or estimated trough GIS-analysis. Logistic regression, t-test, Chi2-test and Fishers exact test were used to test potential associations between risk factors and seropositivity.

The study showed that TIGV does infect humans with a prevalence of 5.2 % in the total population and that seroprevalence differed between the two areas (Atsbi 10.2 %, Hagare selam 1.5 %). The small sample size limited the statistical strength of the associations, but our results support those from other studies, as we found exposure to rodents to be a risk factor. Our findings also suggest that the main place for infection by TIGV is within the housing compound. Further, contrary to what was expected, stone bund density seemed to be negatively associated to seroprevalence for TIGV and it is hypothesized that this is because rodents in low SBD-areas are more prone to go infest houses than are rodents in high SBD-areas, because there are less shelter in low SBD-areas. The logical step after this pilot study is to confirm and further examine the potential riskfactors with a larger sample size and to examine whether TIGV is causing disease or not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 20
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2017:22
Keywords [en]
Tigray Hantavirus, rural farmers, Tigray, Ethiopia
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141573OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141573DiVA, id: diva2:1155547
External cooperation
Yonas Meheretu - Mekelle University Ethiopia; Hussein Khalil, Frauke Ecke, Gert Olsson, Birger Hörnfeldt - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health (one-year)
Presentation
2017-05-22, Natural Sciences building, Room N230, Umeå University, Umeå, 11:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Projects
“RNA-viruses – rodent host dynamics and potential humanAvailable from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-11-08 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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