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Emerg Infect Dis. 2003 Jul;9(7):846-52.

Yellow pigmy rice rat (Oligoryzomys flavescens) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Uruguay.

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Facultad de Ciencias de la Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.


During 5,230 trapping nights, 672 small mammals were trapped in the areas where most hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases occur in Uruguay. Yellow pygmy rice rats (Oligoryzomys flavescens) were the only rodents that showed evidence of antibodies to hantavirus, with a seroprevalence of 2.6%. The rodents were trapped in all the explored environments, and most of the seropositive rodents were found in habitats frequented by humans. Nucleotide sequences were obtained from four HPS case-patients and four yellow pygmy rice rats of the M genome segment. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis showed that rodent-borne viruses and viruses from three HPS case-patients form a well-supported clade and share a 96.4% identity with the previously characterized Central Plata hantavirus. These results suggest that yellow pygmy rice rat (O. flavescens) may be the host for Central Plata, a hantavirus associated with HPS in the southern area of Uruguay.

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