Detection of Lassa virus in wild rodent feces: Implications for Lassa fever burden within households in the endemic region of Faranah, Guinea

Rebekah Wood, Umaru Bangura, Joachim Mariën, Moussa Douno, Elisabeth Fichet-Calvet

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Lassa arenavirus (LASV) is the cause of Lassa Fever in humans in West Africa. The multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) is a reservoir host of LASV and the primary source of human infections. Humans are assumed to become infected due to contact with this animal or its excretions. Thus far, the available literature does not describe the sampling of feces as a means to detect LASV in M. natalensis populations. More evidence is needed to know if feces of naturally infected M. natalensis can be LASV-positive and an exposure risk to humans. This study sampled feces deposits in households from three villages in the LASV-endemic region of Faranah, Guinea. PCR analysis found 10 out of 88 samples to be positive for LASV, and sequencing showed clustering to previously identified Yarawelia and Dalafilani strains. We conclude that feces sampling is a viable, non-invasive method for the determination and sequencing of LASV strains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100317
JournalWomen and Health
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Lassa virus
  • Feces
  • Environmental sampling
  • Rodent
  • M. natalensis
  • Africa
  • Guinea
  • RNA

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