Prevalence of Rift Valley Fever Virus in Febrile Malaria Patients using Serological and Molecular-based Evidence

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Abstract

Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a zoonotic virus classified as category A priority pathogen. Rift Valley fever (RVF) has been poorly investigated in Nigeria with the infection among Nigerians last reported in 1996. Two hundred (200) febrile subjects with symptoms of malaria attending local hospitals in Ilorin, Nigeria were investigated for malaria, malaria positive subjects were investigated for the presence of RVF. Malaria screening was done using CarestartTM malaria HRP2(pf), while RVF antibodies were tested for using anti-RVF IgM ELISA. Molecular identification of the viral genome was carried out using RNA extraction (QIAGEN) and quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR). Of the 200 subjects tested for malaria infection, 93 (46.5%) were positive, while 20 (21.5%) of the 93 subjects were seropositive for RVF. RVF virus genome was found in 5 (25%) of the 20 positive subjects. The high prevalence of RVF among malaria positive subjects show that there is a risk of a RVF outbreak if its prevalence remains unchecked.

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