In this population-based study, we correlated possible risk factors for rodent-to-human transmission of Lassa virus with markers of Lassa fever in two different regions of the Republic of Guinea (Prefectures of Pita and Gueckedou). Antibody prevalence was 2.6% (6 of 232) in Pita compared with 14.0% (105 of 751) in Gueckedou, with up to 35.0% seropositivity in selected villages of the higher prevalence area. We observed three major risk factors in Gueckedou favoring Lassa virus transmission: rodent infestation was much higher, food was more often stored uncovered and most strikingly, peridomestic rodents were hunted as a protein source by 91.5% of the population as opposed to 0% in Pita. To control for the confounding effects of differences in rodent infestation and food storage, rodent consumption was analyzed as a risk factor for transmission of Lassa virus comparing rodent consumers (RC) and nonconsumers (NC) in Gueckedou only: 14.6% of RC had Lassa virus antibodies versus 7.4% of NC (P = 0.1) and 23.0% of RC reported a history of a febrile illness with hearing loss (the most common sequel of Lassa fever) versus 6.1% of NC (P = 0.003).
Hunting of peridomestic rodents and consumption of their meat as possible risk factors for rodent-to-human transmission of Lassa virus in the Republic of Guinea
Categories: Hunting practices and consumption
Reference: Ter Meulen, J., Lukashevich, I., Sidibe, K., Inapoqui, A., Marx, M., Dorlemann, A., Yansane, M.L., Koulemou, K., Chang-Claude, J., Schmitz, H. 1996. Hunting of peridomestic rodents and consumption of their meat as possible risk factors for rodent-to-human transmission of Lassa virus in the Republic of Guinea. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 55: 661–666.