Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Seroreactivity against Marburg or related filoviruses in West and Central Africa

A serological survey of 2,430 archived serum samples collected between 1997 and 2012 was conducted to retrospectively determine the prevalence of Marburg virus in five African countries. Serum samples were screened for neutralizing antibodies in a pseudotype micro-neutralization assay and confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Surprisingly, a seroprevalence for Marburg virus of 7.5 and 6.3% was found in Cameroon and Ghana, respectively, suggesting the circulation of filoviruses or related viruses outside of known endemic areas that remain undetected by current surveillance efforts. However, due to the lack of validated assays and appropriate positive controls, these results must be considered preliminary.

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