SURVEY FOR WEST NILE VIRUS INFECTION IN HORSES AND CULEX MOSQUITOES IN HORSE STABLES IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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SURVEY FOR WEST NILE VIRUS INFECTION IN HORSES AND CULEX MOSQUITOES IN HORSE STABLES IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

 

Abstract:

West Nile virus (WNV) infection is mosquito-borne zoonoses involving birds, horses, humans and other species of animals. This study was designed to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors of WNV infection in horses and to detect for the viral antigen in mosquitoes in Kaduna State, Nigeria. A total of 368 horses and 31 pools of Culex species of mosquitoes were tested for anti WNV IgG antibodies and antigen using Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immonosorbent Assay and Vector test® respectively in four selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kaduna State. A structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to determine presence of factors in the stables that are associated with WNV infection in horses. Out of the 368 horses tested, 331(89.9%) were seropositive for WNV infection. Based on the LGA, a statistically significant higher seroprevalence (P=0.003) was found in Kaduna North LGA (98.9%) followed by Zaria, Igabi and Sabon Gari with prevalence of 88.7%, 86.0% and 78.3% respectively. There was no significant association of WNV seropositivity with age and sex of horses. Only 1(3.2%) pool from Zaria LGA out of the 31 mosquito pools, tested positive for WNV antigen. There was low level of awareness on WNV infection and its transmission among horse attendants and presence of wild birds, stagnant water, grasses, trees and waste bins around the stables. This study has identified high seroprevalence of WNV in apparently healthy horses in Kaduna State and Culex species of mosquito in stables at the time of study are carrying WNV. Conditions suitable for transmission of WNV infection are abundant in horse stable environments in the state. There is the need for dedicated surveillance for WNV infection in Nigeria. The inclusion of WNV in the differential diagnosis of fevers of unknown origin in medical hospitals, along-side public health education of the population on the disease is necessary.

 

SURVEY FOR WEST NILE VIRUS INFECTION IN HORSES AND CULEX MOSQUITOES IN HORSE STABLES IN SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS OF KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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