Surveillance of the rabies-related lyssavirus, Mokola in non-volant small mammals in South Africa

Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

Field Value
Title Surveillance of the rabies-related lyssavirus, Mokola in non-volant small mammals in South Africa
Creator McMahon, William C. Coertse, Jessica Kearney, Teresa Keith, Mark Swanepoel, Lourens H. Markotter, Wanda
Subject Virology Bushveld gerbil; lyssavirus; Mokola; non-volant small mammal; rabies-related; reservoir; rodent; surveillance
Description The reservoir host of Mokola virus (MOKV), a rabies-related lyssavirus species endemic to Africa, remains unknown. Only sporadic cases of MOKV have been reported since its first discovery in the late 1960s, which subsequently gave rise to various reservoir host hypotheses. One particular hypothesis focusing on non-volant small mammals (e.g. shrews, sengis and rodents) is buttressed by previous MOKV isolations from shrews (Crocidura sp.) and a single rodent (Lophuromys sikapusi). Although these cases were only once-off detections, it provided evidence of the first known lyssavirus species has an association with non-volant small mammals. To investigate further, retrospective surveillance was conducted in 575 small mammals collected from South Africa. Nucleic acid surveillance using a pan-lyssavirus quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay of 329 brain samples did not detect any lyssavirus ribonucleic acid (RNA). Serological surveillance using a micro-neutralisation test of 246 serum samples identified 36 serum samples that were positive for the presence of MOKV neutralising antibodies (VNAs). These serum samples were all collected from Gerbilliscus leucogaster (Bushveld gerbils) rodents from Meletse in Limpopo province (South Africa). Mokola virus infections in Limpopo province have never been reported before, and the high MOKV seropositivity of 87.80% in these gerbils may indicate a potential rodent reservoir.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor National Research Foundation, Poliomyelitis Research Foundation
Date 2021-08-03
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion Peer-reviewed Article Surveillance
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/ojvr.v88i1.1911
Source Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research; Vol 88, No 1 (2021); 13 pages 2219-0635 0030-2465
Language eng
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Coverage South Africa — Non volant mammals
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 William C. McMahon, Jessica Coertse, Teresa Kearney, Mark Keith, Lourens H. Swanepoel, Wanda Markotter