Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

Preliminary survey of domestic animals of the Sudan for precipitating antibodies to Rift Valley fever virus

M. Eisaa1

a1 Central Veterinary Research Laboratories, P.O. Box 8067, Al-Amarat, Khartoum, Sudan


In a preliminary seroepidemiological survey a total of 780 serum samples derived from various domestic animals of the Sudan were examined for Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus precipitating antibodies. The incidence was approximately 34·3% in sheep, 33·2% in cattle, 22%in goats, 7·9% in camels and 4% in donkeys. The findings indicated that RVF is mainly prevalent in the rich savanna areas of the south as well as the irrigated areas close to the Nile in the north.

Circumstantial evidence suggests that the detected antibodies were induced by a long-standing cryptically cycling infection and that resurgence of extensive epizootics is unlikely although limited outbreaks may occur. It is concluded that RVF virus circulates across the country in a south–north range along the Nile Valley with little or no extension to the drier lands to the east and west, and that ruminants are the primary species involved in virus maintenance. These species evidently serve as main amplifiers of infection during epizootics, but whether or not they also serve as sole virus reservoirs in inter-epizootic periods has yet to be determined.

(Received March 12 1984)

(Accepted June 17 1984)