Seroprevalence of West Nile Virus among Healthy Blood Donors from Different National Populations Residing in Qatar
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
To estimate the age- and nationality-specific West Nile virus (WNV) seroprevalence in select Middle East and North Africa (MENA) populations residing in Qatar. Sera were collected from male blood donors attending Hamad Medical Corporation. A total of 1,948 sera were tested for anti-WNV antibodies using Serion ELISA classic IgG and IgM kits. Overall, seroprevalence estimates of WNV-specific IgG and IgM antibodies were 10.4% and 3.3%, respectively. Country-specific WNV-specific IgG seroprevalence
... IgG seroprevalence was estimated to be 37.0% (34/92) in Sudanese, 33.0% in Egyptians (66/200), 13.0% (26/200) in Indians, 10.6% (11/104) in Iranians, 10.2% (14/137) in Yemenis, 9.2% (18/195) in Pakistanis, 7.0% ( 14/199) in Jordanians, 5.4% (6/111) in Filipinos, 2.5% (5/200) in Palestinians, 2.5% (5/200) in Syrians, 1.5% (3/200) in Qataris, and 0.9% (1/110) in Lebanese. Seroprevalence of WNV-specific IgM was lowest in Iranians (0/77), Lebanese (0/108), and Filipinos (0/107) at 0.0%, and was highest in Sudanese at 10.0% (8/80). While there seemed to be apparent trends in the prevalence of WNV-IgM and WNV-IgG antibodies, none of these trends were found statistically significant. The findings support the circulation of WNV in human populations in the different countries of the MENA region. Seroprevalence was highest in Sudanese and Egyptians and lowest in Qataris and nationals of the Levant. The findings call for further animal, vector, and human studies, such as studying the actual prevalence of the viral RNA in blood donors to assess risk of viral transmission through blood donation and for a better characterization of the epidemiology of this infection in this part of the world.