Serological evidence of inter-epidemic circulation of Rift valley fever virus in livestock in Kenya

  • F. C. Wekesa Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kenyatta University
  • M. Wamalwa Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kenyatta University
  • R. Oduor Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Kenyatta University

Abstract

Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) is endemic in Kenya, with major outbreaks reported every 10-15 years. The changing climatic conditions is a major risk factor in the spread of RVFV creating the need for sero-epidemiology studies on circulation of the disease in perceived RVF disease-free areas in Kenya. This study aimed at determining the involvement of non-vaccinated ovine, caprine and bovine in maintenance and transmission of RVFV during inter-epidemic period in Siaya, Busia and Kisumu counties. The serum samples were collected, and analyzed using IgG and IgM ELISA kits, and Serum Virus Neutralization Test (SVNT).  Information such as the species, location, sex, age and clinical status of each animal were also captured. Data collected from 615 serum samples was analyzed using R program version 4.1.3. The findings showed that there was circulation of RVFV IgG and IgM antibodies in Siaya, Busia and Kisumu counties.  Female livestock had high circulation rate of both IgG and IgM antibodies compared to their male counterparts. Likewise, adult livestock exhibited higher positivity rate of circulation of the RVFV antibodies in relation to the young livestock sampled. The evidence of low circulation of RVFV in counties with no previous history points to a possible future outbreak of the disease in these areas as a result of paradigm shift in the weather conditions due to climate change. This calls for increased surveillance, proper emergency preparedness in case of RVF outbreak so that the disease is managed on time to minimize losses by seasonal livestock vaccination to build livestock resilience.

Published
2022-05-26
How to Cite
Wekesa, F. C., Wamalwa, M., & Oduor, R. (2022). Serological evidence of inter-epidemic circulation of Rift valley fever virus in livestock in Kenya. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 85(1-4), 13. Retrieved from https://www.kalro.org/www.eaafj.or.ke/index.php/path/article/view/509