Suspected exposure to filoviruses among people contacting wildlife in Southwestern Uganda
Tierra Smiley Evans, Leonard Tutaryebwa, Kirsten V. Gilardi, Peter A. Barry, Andrea Marzi, Meghan Eberhardt, Benard Ssebide, Michael R. Cranfield,Obed Mugisha, Emmanuel Mugisha, Scott Kellermann, Jonna A.K. Mazet, and Christine K. Johnson
Risk factor analyses indicate that people with a close association to wildlife - through the hunting, consumption, or touching of rodents, primates, or duiker - were more likely to have serologic (antibody) evidence of past exposure to filoviruses such as Zaire, Sudan, and Bundibugyo ebolaviruses.
- Individuals that tested positive for previous exposure did not report having suffered from hemorrhagic fever previously
- These undiagnosed cases support conclusions that viral spillover from wildlife into humans may be more widespread than previously thought
This study highlights the need to further characterize viral diversity present in wildlife in order to prevent future spillover and disease pandemics.