Andes virus (ANDV) is responsible for the Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome cases in Argentina and neighboring countries, with moderate to high case-fatality rates. ANDV has some particular features, which make it unique among other members of the Hantavirus genus such as person-to-person transmission and causing a disease similar to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in the hamster as an animal model. The kinetics of replication in Vero E6 cells of an ANDV strain isolated in Argentina, called Andes/ARG, was studied. Cytopathic effect and the formation of clear plaques were observed and therefore Andes/ARG could be quantified by classic plaque assay. The Andes/ARG strain was found to be highly lethal in Syrian hamsters allowing experiments to demonstrate the protective potential of vaccines. A recombinant nucleocapsid protein of ANDV induced a long lasting antibody response and protective immunity against a homologous challenge, but to a lower extent against heterologous challenge by the Seoul virus.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.