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Evidence for circulation of Rift Valley fever virus in wildlife and domestic animals in a forest environment in Gabon, Central Africa.

Becquart, Pierre; Bohou Kombila, Linda; Mebaley, Telstar Ndong; Paupy, Christophe; Garcia, Déborah; Nesi, Nicolas; Olive, Marie-Marie; Vanhomwegen, Jessica; Boundenga, Larson; Mombo, Illich Manfred; Piro-Mégy, Camille; Fritz, Matthieu; Lenguiya, Léadisaelle Hosanna; Ar Gouilh, Meriadeg; Leroy, Eric M.; N’Dilimabaka, Nadine; Cêtre-Sossah, Catherine; Maganga, Gael Darren; Leroy, Eric M; N'Dilimabaka, Nadine

Evidence for circulation of Rift Valley fever virus in wildlife and domestic animals in a forest environment in Gabon, Central Africa. Thumbnail


Pierre Becquart

Linda Bohou Kombila

Telstar Ndong Mebaley

Christophe Paupy

Déborah Garcia

Nicolas Nesi

Marie-Marie Olive

Jessica Vanhomwegen

Larson Boundenga

Illich Manfred Mombo

Camille Piro-Mégy

Matthieu Fritz

Léadisaelle Hosanna Lenguiya

Meriadeg Ar Gouilh

Eric M. Leroy

Nadine N’Dilimabaka

Catherine Cêtre-Sossah

Gael Darren Maganga

Eric M Leroy

Nadine N'Dilimabaka


Eric Mossel


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis caused by the Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) that can infect domestic and wild animals. Although the RVFV transmission cycle has been well documented across Africa in savanna ecosystems, little is known about its transmission in tropical rainforest settings, particularly in Central Africa. We therefore conducted a survey in northeastern Gabon to assess RVFV circulation among wild and domestic animals. Among 163 wildlife samples tested using RVFV-specific RT-qPCR, four ruminants belonging to subfamily Cephalophinae were detected positive. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the four RVFV sequences clustered together with a virus isolated in Namibia within the well-structured Egyptian clade. A cross-sectional survey conducted on sheep, goats and dogs living in villages within the same area determined the IgG RVFV-specific antibody prevalence using cELISA. Out of the 306 small ruminants tested (214 goats, 92 sheep), an overall antibody prevalence of 15.4% (95% CI [11.5-19.9]) was observed with a higher rate in goats than in sheep (20.1% versus 3.3%). RVFV-specific antibodies were detected in a single dog out of the 26 tested. Neither age, sex of domestic animals nor season was found to be significant risk factors of RVFV occurrence. Our findings highlight sylvatic circulation of RVFV for the first time in Gabon. These results stress the need to develop adequate surveillance plan measures to better control the public health threat of RVFV.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 10, 2024
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2024
Publication Date Mar 1, 2024
Deposit Date May 21, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 21, 2024
Journal PLoS neglected tropical diseases
Print ISSN 1935-2727
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 3
Article Number e0011756
Public URL


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