A global serological survey of rodents was conducted to determine the distribution and prevalence of antibody to Hantaan-related viruses, which are the causative agents of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in man. Over 1700 rodent sera from more than 20 sites worldwide were examined by immunofluorescent antibody assay. High-titred positive sera were further tested by plaque reduction neutralization tests with prototype Hantaan virus and urban rat-associated Hantaan-like virus. Antibody-positive rodents were found in most, but not all, sites sampled. The highest antibody prevalence rates were found in Baltimore, MD, USA and Belem, Brazil, and Rattus norvegicus was the species most often found positive. Bandicota indica and B. bengalensis, species previously not recognized as hosts of hantaviruses, were also positive. Neutralization tests detected antibody in Rattus sera specifiv for urban rat-associated Hantaan-like virus, but failed to establish the specificity of antibody in Bandicota sera. These results indicate that Hantaan-related viruses exist beyond the currently recognized boundaries of HFRS in man and suggest that human HFRS-like disease might be occurring in other areas of the world where rodent-human contact is common.
|Number of pages
|Bulletin of the World Health Organization
|Published - 1986
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health