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J Med Virol. 2003 Nov;71(3):417-22.

Serological survey of hantavirus in Jardinopolis County, Brazil.

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Vírus Research Unit, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.


Hantaviruses are the causative agents of severe human diseases such as Cardiopulmonary Syndrome (CPS), described for the first time in 1993. Approximately 200 cases of this emergent disease were reported in Brazil until August 2002, with a 40% fatality rate. In May 2001, a hantavirus serologic survey was carried out among 15-70-year-old inhabitants of Jardinopolis County, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Blood samples of 818 inhabitants from urban and rural areas were collected by digitopuncture and IgG antibodies, detected by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to the N recombinant protein of Andes hantavirus, were found in 14.3% of the samples, showing that this infection is common in Jardinopolis County, especially among adults irrespective of sex, profession, history of contact with rodents, or history of severe pneumonia. The results of the survey do not corroborate the idea that hantavirus infections are associated to rural activity and rodent contact, as observed with 20 Cardiopulmonary Syndrome cases occurred in the same region. Hantaviruses may be causing unrecognized infections, either asymptomatic or clinically nonspecific in addition to the syndrome. It may also be the case that more than one hantavirus type could be circulating in this region, causing mostly benign infections.

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