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, 169 (6), 1271-80

Serologic and Genetic Identification of Peromyscus Maniculatus as the Primary Rodent Reservoir for a New Hantavirus in the Southwestern United States

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Serologic and Genetic Identification of Peromyscus Maniculatus as the Primary Rodent Reservoir for a New Hantavirus in the Southwestern United States

J E Childs et al. J Infect Dis.

Abstract

An outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the southwestern United States was etiologically linked to a newly recognized hantavirus. Knowledge that hantaviruses are maintained in rodent reservoirs stimulated a field and laboratory investigation of 1696 small mammals of 31 species. The most commonly captured rodent, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), had the highest antibody prevalence (30%) to four hantavirus antigens. Antibody also was detected in 10 other species of rodent and in 1 species of rabbit. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) products of hantavirus from rodent tissues were indistinguishable from those from human HPS patients. More than 96% of the seropositive P. maniculatus were positive by RT-PCR, suggesting chronic infection. Antibody prevalences were similar among P. maniculatus trapped from Arizona (33%), New Mexico (29%), and Colorado (29%). The numeric dominance of P. maniculatus, the high prevalence of antibody, and the RT-PCR findings implicate this species as the primary rodent reservoir for a new hantavirus in the southwestern United States.

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