Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Short Communication"

Serological evidence of Rift Valley fever in domestic ruminants in Tunisia underlines the need for effective surveillance


Jihene Hellal(1,2¥), Selma Mejri(1¥*), Sandra Lacote(3), Soufien Sghaier(1), Abderrazek Dkhil(1), Elena Arsevska(4), Didier Calavas(4), Viviane Hénaux(4), Philippe Marianneau(3) and Salah Hammami(5)


1-Tunisian Institute of Veterinary Research, Rue Djebel Lakhdhar – La Rabta 1006 Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis 1068, Tunisia

2- Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Carthage University, Tunisia

3- Virology Unit, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), Laboratory of Lyon, 31 Avenue Tony Garnier 69007 Lyon, France

4- Epidemiology and Support to Surveillance Unit, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), Laboratory of Lyon, 31 Avenue Tony Garnier 69007 Lyon, France

5- National School of Veterinary Medicine Sidi-Thabet, University of Manouba, Ariana 2020, Tunisia

¥These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract

Background: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an infectious zoonotic disease infecting, mainly, domestic ruminants and causing significant economic and public health problems. RVF is a vector-borne disease transmitted by mosquitoes.

Aim: In this work, we tried to seek any RVF virus circulation in Tunisia.

Methods: Thus, we investigated 1,723 sera from different parts of Tunisia, collected in 2009 and 2013-2015 from sheep, goats, cattle, and dromedaries. All sera were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) techniques.

Results: Eighty-seven sera were detected positive and 11 doubtful. All of them were investigated by the Virus-Neutralization Technique (VNT), which confirmed the positivity of three sera.

Conclusion: This is the first case of RVF seropositive confirmed by the VNT in Tunisian ruminants. Such a result was expected considering the climatic, entomologic, and geographic location of the country. Further investigations must enhance our findings to understand the RVF epidemiologic situation better and implement risk-based surveillance programs and effective control strategies.

Keywords: Rift Valley fever, Tunisia, Epidemiology, ELISA, Virus-Neutralization Technique.

Cite this paper:
Hellal, J., Mejri, S., Lacote, S., Sghaier, S., Dkhil, A., Arsevska, E., Calavas, D., Hénaux, V., Marianneau, P. and Hammami, S. 2021. Serological evidence of Rift Valley fever in domestic ruminants in Tunisia underlines the need for effective surveillance. Open Vet. J. 11(3), 337-341.