Molecular epidemiology of Zika virus and Rubella virus in pregnant women attending Sobi Specialist Hospital Ilorin, Nigeria


  • Olatunji Matthew Kolawole Director, Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara state, Nigeria
  • Muhammed Mustapha Suleiman Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria
  • Emmanuel Pelumi Bamidele Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria



Co-infection, Molecular, Prevalence, Rubella virus, Zika virus


Background: Zika virus and rubella virus are viruses of concern to public health owing to their independent ability to cross the placenta causing congenital defects and complications. This study aims to determine the molecular epidemiology of these viruses amongst pregnant women attending Sobi Specialist hospital in Ilorin, Kwara state.

Methods: After ethical approval and duly completed informed consent form, blood sample and respondent data were collected for Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay after which the respective IgM positive samples were molecularly analyzed independently.

Results: The recorded immune status to the individual viruses were 32 (16.0%) and 14 (7.0%) for zika virus IgM and IgG while rubella virus IgM and IgG had 24 (12.0%) and 118 (59.0%) prevalence respectively. The molecular analysis of the rubella virus yielded a partial sequence of its E1 glycoprotein which was assigned accession number MT153585 after GenBank deposition while zika virus had no detectable molecular result. Further analysis of serostatus revealed coinfection (3.5% and 3.7%) and mono (1.0% and 36.0%) for IgM and IgG respectively and sero-conversion of 17.5%. The unexposed respondent was 38.0%. Amongst the evaluated demographic/risk factors, the viruses were statistically significant (p<0.05) for age, type of marriage, occupation, parity and frequency of contact with people while mosquito prevention strategy and its implementation were also significant for zika virus acquisition.

Conclusions: Awareness of respondent to the viruses was very low with 97.0% unaware prior to this study. Vaccination for the vaccine preventable rubella virus should be implemented while adherence to mosquito prevention strategies and discouragement of breeding site should be is encouraged. There is need for the enactment of surveillance route for these viruses to ascertain the extent of the silent burden on the health of the baby in Nigeria.


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How to Cite

Kolawole, O. M., Suleiman, M. M., & Bamidele, E. P. (2020). Molecular epidemiology of Zika virus and Rubella virus in pregnant women attending Sobi Specialist Hospital Ilorin, Nigeria. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 8(6), 2275–2283.



Original Research Articles