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Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2011 Mar;32(3):209-20.

Hemorrhagic fever caused by a novel tick-borne Bunyavirus in Huaiyangshan, China.

Author information

  • 1State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China. yongzhenzhang@sohu.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

From April to July in 2009 and 2010, unexplained severe hemorrhagic fever-like illnesses occurred in farmers from the Huaiyangshan mountains range.

METHODS:

Clinical specimens (blood, urine, feces, and throat swabs) from suspected patients were obtained and stored. Mosquitoes and ticks in affected regions were collected. Virus was isolated from 2 patients and characterized by whole genome sequencing. Virus detection in additional patients and arthropods was done by virus-specific reverse transcription (RT) PCR. Clinical and epidemiological data of RT-PCR confirmed patients were analyzed.

RESULTS:

An unknown virus was isolated from blood of two patients and from Haemaphysalis ticks collected from dogs. Whole genome sequence analysis identified the virus as a novel member of the family Bunyaviridae, most closely related to the viruses of the genus Phlebovirus within which it forms a separate lineage. Subsequently, infection was confirmed by RT-PCR in 33 of 58 suspected patients. The illness in these patients was characterized by fever, severe malaise, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Prominent laboratory findings included low white cell- and platelet counts, coagulation disturbances, and elevation of liver enzymes. Hemorrhagic complications were observed in 3 cases, 5 (15%) patients died.

CONCLUSIONS:

A novel tick-borne Bunyavirus causing life-threatening hemorrhagic fever in humans has emerged in the Huaiyangshan mountain areas of China. Further studies are needed to determine the epidemiology, geographic distribution and vertebrate animal ecology of this virus.

PMID:
21457654
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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