Epizootiological surveys on hantavirus infections in rodents were carried out in various areas of Japan, including the four major islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu from 2000 to 2003. A total of 1,221 rodents and insectivores were captured. Seropositive animals were found in Apodemus (A.) speciosus (5/482, 1.0%), Rattus (R.) norvegicus (4/364, 1.1%), R. rattus (3/45, 6.7%), and Clethrionomys (C.) rufocanus (7/197, 3.6%). The partial S segment was amplified from one seropositive R. rattus captured at Hakodate. The nucleotide sequence showed 96% identity with the Seoul virus (SEOV) prototype strain SR-11. In addition, we conducted an epidemiological survey on human hantavirus infection in a high-risk population, the personnel of the Japan Ground Self-defense Force on Hokkaido. One out of 207 human blood samples was positive for anti-hantavirus antibody by IFA, ELISA, and WB analysis. The result of the serotype specific ELISA indicates that this individual acquired SEOV infection. This study indicates that A. speciosus, R. norvegicus, R. rattus, and C. rufocanus carry hantaviruses as the reservoir animals in Japan. Infected R. rattus and R. norvegicus in port areas could be the sources of human SEOV infection and a threat to travelers and individuals working in seaports.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||MICROBIOLOGY and IMMUNOLOGY|
|State||Published - 2004|
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