First Human Isolate of Hantavirus (Andes Virus) in the Americas

Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Jul;8(7):657-61. doi: 10.3201/eid0807.010277.


We isolated Andes virus (formal name: Andes virus [ANDV], a species in the genus Hantavirus), from serum of an asymptomatic 10-year-old Chilean boy who died 6 days later of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The serum was obtained 12 days after his grandmother died from HPS and 2 days before he became febrile. No hantavirus immunoglobulin (Ig) G or IgM antibodies were detected in the serum sample. After three blind passages, ANDV antigens were detected in Vero E6 cells by immunofluorescence assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and ANDV RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. A fragment of the virus genome showed 96.2% nucleotide identity with that of prototype ANDV. To our knowledge, this is the first isolation of any agent of hemorrhagic fever with HPS from a human and the first such isolation of hantavirus before symptoms of that syndrome or HPS began.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hantavirus / genetics
  • Hantavirus / immunology
  • Hantavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hantavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Hantavirus Infections / immunology
  • Hantavirus Infections / virology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors
  • Vero Cells