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Varney Menipakeh Kamara
Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology
John A. Burns School of Medicine
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Developing sensitive and specific methods for conducting serosurvey for Lassa fever virus (LASV) and other emerging and re-emerging viruses in Liberia is critical for preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases. Using a multiplex bead-based assay, the recombinant viral antigens, including LASV glycoprotein (GP) and nucleoprotein (NP), Ebola, Sudan and Marburg viruses GP, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) envelope-2, and SARS-CoV-2 spike and NP, were used to assess the seroprevalence potential of 200 field collected serum samples from humans, dogs and rodents. Our multiplex bead-based immunoassay showed the reactivity of human and animal IgG to the different recombinant viral antigens. Spearman’s correlation of positive sample median fluorescence intensity showed a high correlation between antigens of the same pathogen and cross-reactivity with antigens of different viruses from the same viral family. In humans, we observed high seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-2-like, and LASV, moderate seroprevalence of Puumala virus and CHIKV, and low prevalence of filoviruses. Very few dogs showed reactivity to the recombinant viral antigens, suggesting that dogs can serve as sentinel animals. The Mastomys and other rodent species showed high reactivities to these antigens, indicating other species that are potential reservoirs of LASV and the presence of few circulating hantavirus and coronavirus-like viruses. Our results show that our assay has high specific sensitivity and is a cost-effective method for conducting serosurveillance studies in Liberia.