By Johan Van Dongen and Joel Savage
Lassa fever, an arenavirus is an acute viral illness that typically occurs in blacks in West Africa. The illness was discovered in 1969, when two missionary nurses died in Nigeria, according to the CDC, but how can Africa trust the Center for Diseases Control, when in collaboration with America, World Health Organization and Europe, responsible for the Aids and Ebola crimes?
“Because the clinical course of the disease is so variable, detection of the disease in affected patient is very difficult, that’s why it can be used as a biological warfare agent.”- Prof. Johan Van Dongen
History of Lassa Fever
There are seven deadly diseases of concern; the three most unpredictable are Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease and Ebola virus disease. In this article the epidemiological and bio-warfare aspects of these diseases are discussed, with particular emphasis on exportation from their indigenous areas in Africa and on the occurrence of secondary cases.
Any of these diseases for instance could be brought into Canada or the United States of America, inadvertently or by aeromedical evacuation.Between 1972 and 1978, there were seven occasions when Canada could have been involved with handling cases of Lassa fever.
The Government of Canada purchased several bed and transit isolators. The units with filtered air under negative pressure, accommodated the infectious and patients were transported and cared for without any health hazard to the attendants or the environment.
The plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) has been used routinely in serological studies with such arena viruses
These plaque reduction neutralization tests (PRNT) were used in the forties of the last century, long time before the first outbreak in 1969, in Lassa, Nigeria, in order to look for a biological warfare product.
The first scientific publication about the Lassa virus was written by C. Armstrong in 1934, as “Experimental lymphotropicchorio meningitis of monkeys and mice produced by a Lassa virus encountered in studies of the 1933 St. Louis Encephalitis Epidemic, Public Health Rep. 49: 1019 -1027 (1934).”
Nowadays Lassa fever is an acute and sometimes severe viral hemorrhagic illness endemic in West Africa. One important question regarding Lassa fever is the duration of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody after infection. We were able to locate three people who worked in Nigeria dating back to the 1940s, two of whom were integrally involved in the early outbreaks and investigations of Lassa fever in the late 1960s, including the person who was isolated from Lassa virus. Two people had high titers of Lassa virus-specific IgG antibody over 40 years after infection, indicating the potential long-term duration of these antibodies. One person was likely infected in 1952, 17 years before the first recognized outbreak.
Background of Lassa virus
Though first described in 1934 and later in the 1940s and 1950s, the virus causing Lassa disease was not publicly identified until 1969. The virus is a single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the virus family Arenaviridae. About 80% of people who became infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. One in five infected of the disease is very severe, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys.
It is said that normally Lassa fever is a zoonotic disease, meaning humans can become infected when in contact with infected animals. The animal reservoir, or host, of Lassa virus is a rodent of the genus Mastomys, commonly known as the “immaculate rat.” Mastomys rats infected with Lassa virus do not become ill, but they can shed the virus in their urine and faeces. But the rats were infected by scientists, such as Cooper in 1961, and many others in laboratory and later set free in the the environment, for example in Lassa, Nigeria, to prey on humans, in order to see the effects or find the result.
Because the clinical course of the disease is so variable, detection of the disease in affected patients is very difficult, that’s why it can be used as a biological warfare agent. However, when presence of the disease is confirmed in a community, prompt isolation of affected patients, good infection protection and control practices and rigorous contact tracing can stop outbreaks.
Lassa fever or Lassa hemorrhagic fever (LHF) is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever caused by the Lassa virus and first described in 1969 in the town of Lassa, in Borno State, Nigeria. Lassa fever is a member of the Arena viridae virus family, similar to Ebola clinical cases. The disease had been known for over a decade but had not been connected with a viral pathogen. The infection is endemic in West African countries, resulting in 300,000 -500,000 cases annually, causing approximately 5,000 deaths each year. Outbreaks of the disease have been observed in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra leone, Guinea and the Central African Republic.
The Lassa virus plaque assay satisfied the criteria proposed by Cooper in 1961 for determining satisfactory plaque technique
The plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) has been used routinely in serological studies with such arena viruses as Junin, Machupo, and Parana. However, difficulties have been encountered in using the PRNT for LCM virus, while conflicting views have been expressed about the reliability and efficacy of the test with Lassa virus.
“I don’t want a name for myself, but I will not allow CDC to continue fooling the world”- Prof J. van Dongen.
They therefore investigated and evaluated the plaque assay for Lassa virus. In addition, the suitability of the PRNT for determining the potency of a serum and its efficacy in passive immunization for the treatment of Lassa fever was also investigated. The Lassa virus plaque assay satisfied the criteria proposed by Cooper in 1961, for determining satisfactory plaque technique. Lassa virus plaques appear within 3 days of inoculating Vero cell cultures.
By day 5, the plaques are clearly defined, discrete, and measure 1.5 to 2.0 mm. In the plaque reduction neutralization test, the use of native non-inactivated serum was required for a reliable and reproducible determination of serum antibody titer. The potency and suitability of a serum for Lassa fever serotherapy was determined by the use of a constant serum-varying virus (CS-VV) and/or a constant virus-varying serum (CV-VS) PRN technique.
Questions for readers to ask Center for Diseases Control
How is it possible that the Lassa virus which is known in the thirties, forties and fifties in laboratory circumstances, the first official outbreak occurred in 1969, in Lassa Nigeria? CDC can fool the public or the world that the disease was first discovered in Nigeria, 1969, but they can’t fool Johan Van Dongen.
This finding is similar to the first outbreaks of the Marburg virus in 1967, in Germany and the Ebola virus in 1976, in Africa as described in: “Aids and Ebola the greatest crime in medical history against mankind” amazon.com.