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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2013 Feb;13(2):111-8. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0939. Epub 2013 Jan 5.

Human puumala and dobrava hantavirus infections in the Black Sea region of Turkey: a cross-sectional study.

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Refik Saydam National Public Health Agency, Ankara, Turkey.


This study was carried out to better understand the epidemiology of hantaviruses in a province of Turkey (Giresun) where human hantavirus disease has recently been detected. In this cross-sectional study, a total of 626 blood samples from healthy people aged 15 and 84 years old were collected both in urban and rural areas in 2009. The sera were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunoblotting assay, and the focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT). We screened the samples by an ELISA and found that 65/626 samples reacted positively for the presence of hantavirus-reactive immunoglobulin G (IgG). Twenty of the 65 ELISA-positive samples could be confirmed by an immunobloting assay, and the overall seroprevalence was thereby calculated to 3.2% (20/626). The seroprevalence of the people living in wood areas or adobe houses 9/17 (52.9%) was significantly higher than among people living in concrete houses 10/47 (21.3%) (p=0.014). Finally, 3 of the 20 immunoblot-positive sera were confirmed as specific for the Puumala hantavirus serotype by FRNT, 1 serum was confirmed as Dobrava virus-specific, whereas 1 serum was found to be equally reactive to Dobrava and Saaremaa viruses. We will now focus on further investigations of the ecology and epidemiology of hantaviruses in humans and their carrier animals in Turkey, studies that have already been started and will be further intensified.

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