Sin Nombre viral RNA load in patients with hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome

J Infect Dis. 2006 Nov 15;194(10):1403-9. doi: 10.1086/508494. Epub 2006 Oct 10.


To address the role that viral load plays in pathogenesis in patients with hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), we quantified Sin Nombre virus S segment viral RNA in plasma samples from 27 acutely ill patients. For 6 patients, we examined viral load in matched plasma, urine, and/or tracheal aspirate throughout the time when the patients were in intensive care. Peak titers in plasma reached 1.8 x 106 copies/mL; none of the patients had viral RNA in urine. Titers in tracheal aspirates did not exceed 8 x 104 copies/mL. We found a statistically significant association (P < .005) between plasma viral RNA levels at admission to the hospital and the severity of disease. Of those with plasma viral RNA titers above the threshold for assay sensitivity (5000 copies/mL), those with mild-moderate and severe disease had an average of 27,800 and 438,545 copies/mL, respectively. These results suggest that patients with high viral loads on admission are more likely to have severe disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome / virology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma / virology
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sin Nombre virus / isolation & purification
  • Sin Nombre virus / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Trachea / virology
  • Urine / virology
  • Viral Load*


  • RNA, Viral