Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonosis endemic in Africa. With little known of the burden or epidemiology of RVF virus (RVFV) in Cameroon, this study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of RVFV in domestic ruminants of various origins in two markets of Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The origin of animals randomly sampled at two livestock markets in Yaoundé were recorded and plasma samples collected for competitive and capture Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) to determine the prevalence of Immunoglobulins G (IgG) and Immunoglobulins M (IgM) antibodies. Following ELISA IgM results, a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect RVFV RNA. In June-August 2019, February-March 2020, and March-April 2021, 756 plasma samples were collected from 441 cattle, 168 goats, and 147 sheep. RVFV IgG seroprevalence was 25.7% for all animals, 42.2% in cattle, 2.7% in sheep, and 2.4% in goats. However, IgM seroprevalence was low, at 0.9% in all animals, 1.1% in cattle, 1.4% in sheep, and 0% in goats. The seroprevalence rates varied according to the animal’s origin with the highest rate (52.6%) in cattle from Sudan. In Cameroon, IgG and IgM rates respectively were 45.1% and 2.8% in the North, 44.8% and 0% in the Adamawa, 38.6% and 1.7% in the Far-North. All IgM positive samples were from Cameroon. In cattle, 2/5 IgM positive samples were also IgG positive, but both IgM positive samples in sheep were IgG negative. Three (42.9%) IgM positive samples were positive for viral RVFV RNA using qRT-PCR but given the high ct values, no amplicon was obtained.
These findings confirm the circulation of RVFV in livestock in Cameroon with prevalence rates varying by location. Despite low IgM seroprevalence rates, RVF outbreaks can occur without being noticed. Further epidemiological studies are needed to have a broad understanding of RVFV transmission in Cameroon.