Zoonotic viral sharing among bats, primates...

In the News

Muhas don is new IHI board member

Prof. Kaaya. Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) Board of Governors (BOG) has appointed Prof. Sylvia Kaaya member of the IHI Board of Trustees (BOT) effective Wednesday January 10, 2018. The appointment …

Marcel steps down from IHI boards

Prof. Marcel Tanner has stepped down as Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and Board of Governors (BOG) effective Wednesday January 10, 2018. The Former …

Recent Projects

Development of a new tool for malaria mosquito surveillance to improve vector control

Malaria transmission is influenced not only by vector abundance, but as well by demographic traits such as vector species and age structure, as these influence the intensity by which the …

Demonstrating complete disruption of residual malaria transmission by eliminating Anopheles funestus mosquitoes from rural Tanzanian villages

In rural south-eastern Tanzania, where malaria prevalence has reduced by >60% since 2000, low-to-moderate transmission still persists despite very high coverage with long-lasting insecticidal bednets. Like in most residual transmission …

Evaluating Zoonotic Viral Sharing among Bats, Primates and People in a High Risk Transmission Interface In Southern Tanzania

Viruses traced to bats and primates have caused some of the most significant human Pandemics. As human populations rapidly expand into undeveloped areas, humans are living in closer contact with diverse wildlife, increasing the risk of disease transmission. In resource limited areas, bush meat hunting and consumption of forest plants shared with animals provide vital nutrients but may also put pathogens on the plate. Zoonotic viruses like Ebola and Marburg are diseases of concern in Africa, but little is understood about their natural history and transmission cycles, as well as their replication in their reservoir host species, which are believed to be African bat species. Bats, as well as their natural interaction with NHPs, humans, and other intermediary species are also poorly understood. It is paramount to better understand the circulating viruses in bats and non-human primates as well as to understand the interaction that humans have with these animals at forest interfaces.

The aim of this project is to assess and quantify the extent of viral sharing among bats, primates and people in a high-risk transmission interface in southern Tanzania. Understanding the natural ecology of emerging zoonotic viruses will facilitate control strategies to reduce human exposure and disease spread, a globally valuable outcome. In addition to enhancing in-country pathogen detection capability, the proposed research will build understanding of risk factors for transmission among bats, NHPs, and humans.

Lead Scientist:

Honorati Masanja

Catherine G. Mkindi

Solomon M. Mwakasungula 

Robert Sumaye


Sokoine University of Agriculture
One Health Institute University of California Davis, USA.


Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

Projects Location

© Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), 2016