Risk Factors for Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Daniel G. Bausch, Matthias Borchert, Thomas Grein, Cathy Roth, Robert Swanepoel, Modeste L. Libande, Antoine Talarmin, Eric Bertherat, Jean Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, Ben Tugume, Robert Colebunders, Kader M. Kondé, Patricia Pirard, Loku L. Olinda, Guénaël R. Rodier, Patricia Campbell, Oyewale Tomori, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Pierre E. Rollin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


We conducted two antibody surveys to assess risk factors for Marburg hemorrhagic fever in an area of confirmed Marburg virus transmission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Questionnaires were administered and serum samples tested for Marburg-specific antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fifteen (2%) of 912 participants in a general village cross-sectional antibody survey were positive for Marburg immunoglobulin G antibody. Thirteen (87%) of these 15 were men who worked in the local gold mines. Working as a miner (odds ratio [OR] 13.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1 to 62.1) and receiving injections (OR 7.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 33.2) were associated with a positive antibody result. All 103 participants in a targeted antibody survey of healthcare workers were antibody negative. Primary transmission of Marburg virus to humans likely occurred via exposure to a still unidentified reservoir in the local mines. Secondary transmission appears to be less common with Marburg virus than with Ebola virus, the other known filovirus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1537
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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