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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2010 Apr;23(2):412-41. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00062-09.

A global perspective on hantavirus ecology, epidemiology, and disease.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville, 950 N. Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville, KY 40222, USA.


Hantaviruses are enzootic viruses that maintain persistent infections in their rodent hosts without apparent disease symptoms. The spillover of these viruses to humans can lead to one of two serious illnesses, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. In recent years, there has been an improved understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and natural history of these viruses following an increase in the number of outbreaks in the Americas. In this review, current concepts regarding the ecology of and disease associated with these serious human pathogens are presented. Priorities for future research suggest an integration of the ecology and evolution of these and other host-virus ecosystems through modeling and hypothesis-driven research with the risk of emergence, host switching/spillover, and disease transmission to humans.

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