Lassa fever

One health

This is where I list all of my work on Lassa fever

Lassa mammarenavirus assay development

In progress

Diagnostics for Lassa mammarenavirus (LASV) are challenging due to the variability in viral sequence and structure. Several commercial PCR and antibody kits are available. To our knowledge there no pan-species antibody assays. To support our ongoing work on understanding the epidemiology and transmission dynamics in multi-species systems in endemic regions we have begun developing a cross-species assay. We adopted an approach that has been found to be successful for Peste des petits ruminants a virus that affects goats, sheep and camels and is targeted for eradication. These assays are built on the Luciferase Immunoprecipitation System (Berguido et al. 2016) which detect the presence of antibodies against the presented antigen.

Our work so far in the development of the assay is presented in the following posts:

Rodent ecology and zoonoses studies in West Africa

In progress

I am in the process of conducting a scoping review to consolidate prior research that has involved the trapping of individual rodents in the WHO West Africa region. I have made my initial results available below. I will continue to develop this and produce a data resource to accompany this work.

I have summarised the data from studies identified for this review and made it explorable through an RShiny application. The app is currently a work in progress but is available here if you have any comments on the app or would be interested in seeing the data explored slightly differently please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Rodent trapping to inform a dynamic rodent assemblage and population model in Eastern Sierra Leone

Ongoing work

A pilot study has been performed to inform a planned 2 year programme of repeat trapping in several settings in Sierra Leone. This pilot study was presented as a poster at the Planetary Health Annual Meeting.

Data collection for the longitudinal study began in April 2021

The niche of One Health approaches in Lassa fever surveillance and control (Arruda et al. 2021)

Lassa fever (LF), a zoonotic illness, represents a public health burden in West African countries where the Lassa virus (LASV) circulates among rodents. Human exposure hinges significantly on LASV ecology, which is in turn shaped by various parameters such as weather seasonality and even virus and rodent-host genetics. Furthermore, human behaviour, despite playing a key role in the zoonotic nature of the disease, critically affects either the spread or control of human-to-human transmission. Previous estimations on LF burden date from the 80s and it is unclear how the population expansion and the improvement on diagnostics and surveillance methods have affected such predictions. Although recent data have contributed to the awareness of epidemics, the real impact of LF in West African communities will only be possible with the intensification of interdisciplinary efforts in research and public health approaches. This review discusses the causes and consequences of LF from a One Health perspective, and how the application of this concept can improve the surveillance and control of this disease in West Africa.

Arruda, Liã Bárbara, Najmul Haider, Ayodeji Olayemi, David Simons, Deborah Ehichioya, Adesola Yinka-Ogunleye, Rashid Ansumana, et al. 2021. “The Niche of One Health Approaches in Lassa Fever Surveillance and Control.” Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 20 (1): 1–12.
Berguido, Francisco J., Sanne Charles Bodjo, Angelika Loitsch, and Adama Diallo. 2016. “Specific Detection of Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus Antibodies in Sheep and Goat Sera by the Luciferase Immunoprecipitation System.” Journal of Virological Methods 227 (January): 40–46.



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