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J Med Virol. 1997 Oct;53(2):174-81.

Puumala virus and two genetic variants of Tula virus are present in Austrian rodents.

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Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. MKB6@CDC.GOV


Puumala and Tula viruses are hantaviruses found in Europe and are associated with the rodents Clethrionomys glareolus and Microtus arvalis, respectively. Puumala virus is associated with the human disease nephropathia epidemica. In Austria, ten clinically diagnosed cases of nephropathia epidemica, presumably caused by Puumala virus infection, have been reported but not virologically confirmed [Leschinskaya et al., 1991; Aberle et al., 1996]. To identify the hantaviruses that are present in Austria, five species of rodents were trapped and screened for virus antibodies, antigen, and RNA. Hantaviruses were detected in two species, Cl. glareolus and M. arvalis, by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RT-PCR products from Cl. glareolus tissues yielded a unique Puumala virus sequence distinct from Puumala virus sequences reported from other parts of Europe. RT-PCR products from M. arvalis tissues yielded two genetically distinct Tula virus sequences, one similar to sequences reported from Slovakia and the Czech Republic and another that appears to be a novel genetic variant of Tula virus. This is the first confirmed report of hantaviruses in Austria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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