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Seropositivity of West Nile Virus Among Acute Febrile Patients in Southern Ethiopia

Authors Eshetu D, Kifle T, Agaje BG, Hirigo AT

Received 10 January 2020

Accepted for publication 9 May 2020

Published 20 May 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1491—1497


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Eric Nulens

Daniel Eshetu,1 Tigist Kifle,2 Bekalu Getahun Agaje,3 Agete Tadewos Hirigo4

1Yirgalem Hospital Medical College, Department of Microbiology, Yirgalem Town, Southern Ethiopia; 2Hawassa University, College of Medicine and Health Science, Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Hawassa City, Southern Ethiopia; 3Hawassa University, College of Medicine and Health Science, Department of Optometry, Hawassa City, Southern Ethiopia; 4Hawassa University, College of Medicine and Health Science, School of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Hawassa City, Southern Ethiopia

Correspondence: Daniel Eshetu
Yirgalem Hospital Medical College, Department of Microbiology, P.O. Box 184, Yirgalem, Ethiopia
Tel +251-917-867385

Background: West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the widely distributed arboviruses in the world, and it is a pathogen of both humans and animals. The evidence that supports the prevalence of the WNV infection in Ethiopia is very scarce. Hence, this study aimed to assess the seropositivity of WNV among patients with acute febrile illness.
Methods: This health institution-based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 532 acute febrile patients from May to August 2016 in Arba Minch Zuria district selected public health facilities, Southern Ethiopia. A pre-structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic and clinical related information of the participants through convenient sampling techniques. In addition, trained nurses who were working in the health centers were responsible for interviewing acute febrile patients. About 5 mL of venous blood was collected aseptically from each of the study participants for the screening of the WNV immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies using indirect immunofluorescence technique (IIFT) as per manufacturer’s protocol. Data analysis was done using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20 software and the results were presented by frequency and percentage using tables.
Results: A total number of 529 acute febrile patients (42.7% males and 57.3% females) were enrolled in the study with a response rate of 99.4%. The overall 7.4% of acute febrile patients were seropositive for WNV-specific IgG and the rate was higher in males (9.7%) when compared to females (5.6%). While the overall 4.5% were seropositive for WNV-specific IgM and the rate was 6.6% in males and 3.0% in females.
Conclusion: The finding of this study is an important alarm for clinicians/physicians to diagnose febrile patients in the divergent direction including with the diagnosis of flaviviruses. In addition, the finding will further contribute to understanding the epidemiology of WNV fever in Ethiopia and it will play a role in the delivery of public health measures to decrease the risk of WNV exposure in the areas.

Keywords: West Nile virus, acute febrile patients, Arba Minch Zuria district, Southern Ethiopia

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