Seroepidemiologic Studies of Hantavirus Infection among Wild Rodents in California

Michele Jay, Michael S. Ascher, Bruno B. Chomel, Minoo Madon, David Sesline, Barryett A. Enge, Brian Hjelle, Thomas G. Ksiazek, Pierre E. Rollin, Philip H. Kass, Kevin Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


A total of 4,626 mammals were serologically tested for antibodies to Sin Nombre virus. All nonrodent species were antibody negative. Among wild rodents, antibody prevalence was 8.5% in murids, 1.4% in heteromyids, and < 0.1% in sciurids. Of 1,921 Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice), 226 (11.8%) were antibody positive, including one collected in 1975. The highest antibody prevalence (71.4% of 35) was found among P. maniculatus on Santa Cruz Island, off the southern California coast. Prevalence of antibodies among deer mice trapped near sites of human cases (26.8% of 164) was significantly higher than that of mice from other sites (odds ratio = 4.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.7, 11.6). Antibody prevalence increased with rising elevation (>1,200 meters) and correlated with a spatial cluster of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases in the Sierra Nevada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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