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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373-379

Serological evidence of Rift Valley fever virus among humans in Mersin province of Turkey

1 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mersin University, Mersin, Turkey
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mersin University, Mersin, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seda Tezcan-Ulger
Associate Professor, Mersin University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Microbiology, Yenisehir 33343, Mersin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.302042

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Background & objectives: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a vector-borne pathogen that causes serious outbreaks among livestock, and severe symptoms and mortality in humans. The virus is known to be widespread throughout African countries and Arabian peninsula. The aim of the present study was to investigate the seroprevalence of RVFV infection among human populations of Mersin province, Turkey. Methods: A region-wide serological survey was conducted on humans residing in rural and urban areas of Mersin province located in the subtropical mediterranean region of Turkey from July 2011- January 2014. Plasma samples were tested for the presence of anti-RVFV antibodies using commercially available indirect immunofluorescence assay. Results: The overall past infections were detected in 48 (4.9%) of the 977 human blood samples. The RVF virus- specific IgG positivity was detected in 33 (4.9%) of the 677 blood samples obtained from the urban area and in 15 (5%) of the 300 samples obtained from the rural area. There was no statistically significant difference in the distribution of RVFV IgG positivity rates between urban and rural areas (p = 0.933); though difference was significant between the rural areas (p = 0.029). Interpretation & conclusion: The study confirmed for the first time, the presence of the RVFV antibody in the urban and rural areas of mediterranean province of Mersin in Turkey, suggesting wide circulation of RVFV in the human population.

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