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Lancet Infect Dis. 2003 Oct;3(10):653-61.

Hantavirus infections in Europe.

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1
Division of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki and HUCH Laboratory Diagnostics, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland. Olli.Vapalahti@helsinki.fi

Abstract

Hantaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses each carried by a specific rodent species. Three hantaviruses, Puumala, Dobrava, and Saaremaa viruses, are known to cause haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. In Europe. Puumala causes a generally mild disease, nephropathia epidemica, which presents most commonly with fever, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms, impaired renal function, and blurred vision, whereas Dobrava infections often also have haemorrhagic complications. There are few available data about the clinical picture of confirmed Saaremaa infections, but epidemiological evidence suggests that it is less pathogenic than Dobrava, and that Saaremaa infections are more similar to nephropathia epidemica caused by Puumala. Along with its rodent host, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), Puumala is reported throughout most of Europe (excluding the Mediterranean region), whereas Dobrava, carried by the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis), and Saaremaa, carried by the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius), are reported mainly in eastern and central Europe. The diagnosis of acute hantavirus infection is based on the detection of virus-specific IgM. Whereas Puumala is distinct, Dobrava and Saaremaa are genetically and antigenically very closely related and were previously thought to be variants of the same virus. Typing of a specific hantavirus infection requires neutralisation antibody assays or reverse transcriptase PCR and sequencing.

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PMID:
14522264
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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