(1/577) DNA vaccination with hantavirus M segment elicits neutralizing antibodies and protects against seoul virus infection.

Seoul virus (SEOV) is one of four known hantaviruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Candidate naked DNA vaccines for HFRS were constructed by subcloning cDNA representing the medium (M; encoding the G1 and G2 glycoproteins) or small (S; encoding the nucleocapsid protein) genome segment of SEOV into the DNA expression vector pWRG7077. We vaccinated BALB/c mice with three doses of the M or S DNA vaccine at 4-week intervals by either gene gun inoculation of the epidermis or needle inoculation into the gastrocnemius muscle. Both routes of vaccination resulted in antibody responses as measured by ELISA; however, gene gun inoculation elicited a higher frequency of seroconversion and higher levels of antibodies in individual mice. We vaccinated Syrian hamsters with the M or S construct using the gene gun and found hantavirus-specific antibodies in five of five and four of five hamsters, respectively. Animals vaccinated with the M construct developed a neutralizing antibody response that was greatly enhanced in the presence of guinea pig complement. Immunized hamsters were challenged with SEOV and, after 28 days, were monitored for evidence of infection. Hamsters vaccinated with M were protected from infection, but hamsters vaccinated with S were not protected.  (+info)

(2/577) Isolation and characterization of Dobrava hantavirus carried by the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) in Estonia.

Dobrava hantavirus (DOB) was isolated from the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) trapped on Saaremaa Island, Estonia, and its genetic and antigenic characteristics were subsequently analysed. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Estonian DOB strain, together with several wild strains carried by Apodemus agrarius, forms a well-supported lineage within the DOB clade. The topography of the trees calculated for the S, M and L nucleotide sequences of the Estonian DOB suggests a similar evolutionary history for all three genes of this virus and, therefore, the absence of heterologous reassortment in its evolution. A cross-neutralization comparison of the Estonian virus with the prototype DOB, isolated from a yellow-necked mouse (A. flavicollis) in Slovenia, revealed 2- to 4-fold differences in the end-point titres of rabbit and human antisera. When studied with a panel of 25 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), the Estonian and Slovenian DOB isolates showed similar antigenic patterns that could be distinguished by two MAbs. Genetic comparison showed sequence differences in all three genome segments of the two DOB isolates, including an additional N-glycosylation site in the deduced sequence of the G2 protein from the Estonian virus. Whether any of these mutations relates to the different rodent hosts rather than to the distant geographical origin of the two isolates remains to be resolved. Taken together, our observations suggest that A. agrarius, which is known to harbour Hantaan virus in Asia, carries another hantavirus, DOB, in north-east Europe.  (+info)

(3/577) Genetic diversity and distribution of Peromyscus-borne hantaviruses in North America.

The 1993 outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the southwestern United States was associated with Sin Nombre virus, a rodent-borne hantavirus; The virus' primary reservoir is the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Hantavirus-infected rodents were identified in various regions of North America. An extensive nucleotide sequence database of an 139 bp fragment amplified from virus M genomic segments was generated. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that SNV-like hantaviruses are widely distributed in Peromyscus species rodents throughout North America. Classic SNV is the major cause of HPS in North America, but other Peromyscine-borne hantaviruses, e.g., New York and Monongahela viruses, are also associated with HPS cases. Although genetically diverse, SNV-like viruses have slowly coevolved with their rodent hosts. We show that the genetic relationships of hantaviruses in the Americas are complex, most likely as a result of the rapid radiation and speciation of New World sigmodontine rodents and occasional virus-host switching events.  (+info)

(4/577) Long-term hantavirus persistence in rodent populations in central Arizona.

For 35 months, we monitored hantavirus activity in rodent populations in central Arizona. The most frequently captured hantavirus antibody-positive rodents were Peromyscus boylii and P. truei. Antibody-positive P. boylii were more frequently male (84%), older, and heavier, and they survived longer on trapping web sites than antibody-negative mice. The number of antibody-positive P. boylii was greater during high population densities than during low densities, while antibody prevalence was greater during low population densities. Virus transmission and incidence rates, also related to population densities, varied by trapping site. The spatial distribution of antibody-positive P. boylii varied by population density and reflected the species preference for dense chaparral habitats. The focal ranges of antibody-positive P. boylii also demonstrated a patchy distribution of hantavirus.  (+info)

(5/577) A longitudinal study of Sin Nombre virus prevalence in rodents, southeastern Arizona.

We determined the prevalence of Sin Nombre virus antibodies in small mammals in southeastern Arizona. Of 1,234 rodents (from 13 species) captured each month from May through December 1995, only mice in the genus Peromyscus were seropositive. Antibody prevalence was 14.3% in 21 white-footed mice (P. leucopus), 13.3% in 98 brush mice (P. boylii), 0.8% in 118 cactus mice (P. eremicus), and 0% in 2 deer mice (P. maniculatus). Most antibody-positive mice were adult male Peromyscus captured close to one another early in the study. Population dynamics of brush mice suggest a correlation between population size and hantavirus-antibody prevalence.  (+info)

(6/577) Statistical sensitivity for detection of spatial and temporal patterns in rodent population densities.

A long-term monitoring program begun 1 year after the epidemic of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the U.S. Southwest tracked rodent density changes through time and among sites and related these changes to hantavirus infection rates in various small-mammal reservoir species and human disease outbreaks. We assessed the statistical sensitivity of the program's field design and tested for potential biases in population estimates due to unintended deaths of rodents. Analyzing data from two sites in New Mexico from 1994 to 1998, we found that for many species of Peromyscus, Reithrodontomys, Neotoma, Dipodomys, and Perognathus, the monitoring program detected species-specific spatial and temporal differences in rodent densities; trap-related deaths did not significantly affect long-term population estimates. The program also detected a short-term increase in rodent densities in the winter of 1997-98, demonstrating its usefulness in identifying conditions conducive to increased risk for human disease.  (+info)

(7/577) Natural history of Sin Nombre virus in western Colorado.

A mark-recapture longitudinal study of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody to Sin Nombre virus (SNV) in rodent populations in western Colorado (1994-results summarized to October 1997) indicates the presence of SNV or a closely related hantavirus at two sites. Most rodents (principally deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, and pinyon mice, P. truei) did not persist on the trapping webs much beyond 1 month after first capture. Some persisted more than 1 year, which suggests that even a few infected deer mice could serve as transseasonal reservoirs and mechanisms for over-winter virus maintenance. A positive association between wounds and SNV antibody in adult animals at both sites suggests that when infected rodents in certain populations fight with uninfected rodents, virus amplification occurs. At both sites, male rodents comprised a larger percentage of seropositive mice than recaptured mice, which suggests that male mice contribute more to the SNV epizootic cycle than female mice. In deer mice, IgG antibody prevalence fluctuations were positively associated with population fluctuations. The rates of seroconversion, which in deer mice at both sites occurred mostly during late summer and midwinter, were higher than the seroprevalence, which suggests that the longer deer mice live, the greater the probability they will become infected with SNV.  (+info)

(8/577) Long-term studies of hantavirus reservoir populations in the southwestern United States: a synthesis.

A series of intensive, longitudinal, mark-recapture studies of hantavirus infection dynamics in reservoir populations in the southwestern United States indicates consistent patterns as well as important differences among sites and host-virus associations. All studies found a higher prevalence of infection in older (particularly male) mice; one study associated wounds with seropositivity. These findings are consistent with horizontal transmission and transmission through fighting between adult male rodents. Despite very low rodent densities at some sites, low-level hantavirus infection continued, perhaps because of persistent infection in a few long-lived rodents or periodic reintroduction of virus from neighboring populations. Prevalence of hantavirus antibody showed seasonal and multiyear patterns that suggested a delayed density-dependent relationship between prevalence and population density. Clear differences in population dynamics and patterns of infection among sites, sampling periods, and host species underscore the importance of replication and continuity of long-term reservoir studies. Nevertheless, the measurable associations between environmental variables, reservoir population density, rates of virus transmission, and prevalence of infection in host populations may improve our capacity to model processes influencing infection and predict increased risk for hantavirus transmission to humans.  (+info)