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      Serological Evidence of Hantavirus Infection in Apparently Healthy People from Rural and Slum Communities in Southern Chile

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          Hantavirus disease in America has been recognizable because of its rapid progression in clinical cases, occurrence in previously healthy young adults, and high case fatality rate. Hantavirus disease has been proposed now to define the diversity of clinical manifestations. Since 1995, a total of 902 cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have been reported in Chile, caused by Andes virus (ANDV), with overall fatality of 32%. This report describes the sero-epidemiology of hantavirus in apparently healthy people in rural and urban slum communities from southern Chile. Ten of 934 samples yielded a positive result resulting in a seroprevalence of 1.07% (95% confidence intervals: 0.05%–2.0%). A higher proportion of positive samples was found among individuals from rural villages (1.3%) and slums (1.5%) compared with farms (0.5%). Seropositivity was associated with age ( p = 0.011), low education level ( p = 0.006) and occupations linked to the household (homemaker, retired, or student) ( p = 0.016). No evidence of infection was found in 38 sigmodontinae rodents trapped in the peri-domestic environment. Our findings highlight that exposure risk was associated with less documented risk factors, such as women in slum and rural villages, and the occurrence of infection that may have presented as flu-like illness that did not require medical attention or was misdiagnosed.

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          A global perspective on hantavirus ecology, epidemiology, and disease.

          Hantaviruses are enzootic viruses that maintain persistent infections in their rodent hosts without apparent disease symptoms. The spillover of these viruses to humans can lead to one of two serious illnesses, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. In recent years, there has been an improved understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and natural history of these viruses following an increase in the number of outbreaks in the Americas. In this review, current concepts regarding the ecology of and disease associated with these serious human pathogens are presented. Priorities for future research suggest an integration of the ecology and evolution of these and other host-virus ecosystems through modeling and hypothesis-driven research with the risk of emergence, host switching/spillover, and disease transmission to humans.
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            Transmission study of Andes hantavirus infection in wild sigmodontine rodents.

            Our study was designed to contribute to an understanding of the timing and conditions under which transmission of Andes hantavirus in Oligoryzomys longicaudatus reservoir populations takes place. Mice were caged in test habitats consisting of steel drums containing holding cages, where seronegative rodents were exposed to wild seropositive individuals by freely sharing the same cage or being separated by a wire mesh. Tests were also performed for potential viral transmission to mice from excrement-tainted bedding in the cages. Andes virus transmitted efficiently; from 130 attempts with direct contact, 12.3% resulted in virus transmission. However, if we consider only those rodents that proved to be infectious, from 93 attempts we obtained 16 infected animals (17.2%). Twelve of them resulted from intraspecies O. longicaudatus encounters where male mice were differentially affected and 4 resulted from O. longicaudatus to Abrothrix olivaceus. Experiments using Abrothrix longipilis as receptors were not successful. Transmission was not observed between wire mesh-separated animals, and mice were not infected from excrement-tainted bedding. Bites seemed not to be a requisite for oral transmission. Genomic viral RNA was amplified in two out of three saliva samples from seropositive rodents, but it was not detected in urine samples obtained by vesicle puncture from two other infected rodents. Immunohistochemistry, using antibodies against Andes (AND) hantavirus proteins, revealed strong reactions in the lung and salivary glands, supporting the possibility of oral transmission. Our study suggests that AND hantavirus may be principally transmitted via saliva or saliva aerosols rather than via feces and urine.
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              Genetic diversity, distribution, and serological features of hantavirus infection in five countries in South America.

              Since 1995 when the first case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) was reported in Patagonia, there have been more than 400 cases of HPS reported in five countries in South America. The first case of HPS was associated with Andes (AND) virus. In this study, we report on the genetic diversity, geographical distribution, and serological features of hantavirus infection in six countries in South America based on 87 HPS cases from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. An early immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgA, and IgG humoral response was observed in almost all HPS cases. The IgM response appears to peak 1 or 2 days after the onset of symptoms. Peak IgG antibody titers occur mostly after the first week. Low IgG titers or the absence of IgG was associated with higher mortality rates. The IgA response peaks around day 15 and then rapidly decreases. The results of phylogenetic analysis based on partial M-fragment G1- and G2-encoding sequences showed that HPS cases from the five countries were infected with viruses related to AND or Laguna Negra (LN) virus. Within AND virus-infected persons, at least five major genetic lineages were found; one lineage was detected in Uruguayan and Argentinean cases from both sides of the Rio de la Plata river. Two Paraguayan patients were infected with a virus different from LN virus. According to the results of phylogenetic analyses, this virus probably belongs to a distinct lineage related more closely to the AND virus than to the LN virus, suggesting that there is probably an Oligoryzomys-borne viral variant circulating in Paraguay. These studies may contribute to a better understanding of hantavirus human infection in South America.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                17 April 2015
                April 2015
                : 7
                : 4
                : 2006-2013
                [1 ]Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S. Second Street, suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
                [2 ]Institute of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Austral University of Chile, Campus Isla Teja, P.O. Box 567, Valdivia, Chile
                [3 ]Institute of Clinical Microbiology, Austral University of Chile, Campus Isla Teja, P.O. Box 567, Valdivia, Chile; E-Mails: farides.saavedra@ 123456gmail.com (F.S.); cotth@ 123456uach.cl (C.O.); ljubica.domancich@ 123456gmail.com (L.D.); melissahottogalde@ 123456hotmail.com (M.H.)
                [4 ]National Institute of Infectious Diseases, ANLIS Dr. Carlos G. Malbran, Velez Sarsfield 563 CABA (1281), Buenos Aires 1281, Argentina; E-Mail: ppadula@ 123456gmail.com
                Author notes
                [* ]Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: munozzan@ 123456umn.edu ; Tel.: +1-612-626-2849.
                © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Microbiology & Virology

                hantavirus, andv, sero-prevalence, peri-domestic rodents, chile, elisa


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