Orthopoxvirus infection among wildlife in Zambia

Yasuko Orba, Michihito Sasaki, Hiroki Yamaguchi, Akihiro Ishii, Yuka Thomas, Hirohito Ogawa, Bernard M. Hang'ombe, Aaron S. Mweene, Shigeru Morikawa, Masayuki Saijo, Hirofumi Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Human monkeypox is a viral zoonosis caused by monkeypox virus, an orthopoxvirus (OPXV). The majority of human monkeypox cases have been reported in moist forested regions in West and Central Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In this study we investigated zoonotic OPXV infection among wild animals in Zambia, which shares a border with DRC, to assess the geographical distribution of OPXV. We screened for OPXV antibodies in sera from non-human primates (NHPs), rodents and shrews by ELISA, and performed real-time PCR to detect OPXV DNA in spleen samples. Serological analysis indicated that 38 of 259 (14.7 %) rodents, 14 of 42 (33.3 %) shrews and 4 of 188 (2.1 %) NHPs had antibodies against OPXV. The OPXV DNA could not be detected in spleens from any animals tested. Our results indicated that wild animals living in rural human habitation areas of Zambia have been infected with OPXV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-394
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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