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Hantavirus in human and rodent populations in an endemic area for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Argentina



Hantavirus in human and rodent populations in an endemic area for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in Argentina



Medicina (Buenos Aires) 62(1): 1-8



This paper analyzed the prevalence and distribution of serological reactivity to hantavirus (antibody against ANDES virus) of human population exposed to hantavirus and rodents trapped in the studied area. This study was developed in Salta (Oran and San Martin Departments), area with the highest incidence for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in Argentina. In December 1997, 453 healthy people were studied by serology and 39 rodents by serology and PCR. The studied individuals were distributed as: 145 farm inhabitants (FI), 212 people living in the same dwelling with healthy individuals (controls) (Cco), 87 people living in the same dwelling with persons undergoing SPH in 1997 (cases) (Cca). Moreover, 19 physicians and nurses who cared for patients with SPH in 1997 were also studied. The prevalence of hantavirus infection among the studied population was 6.3%. The prevalence was 10.3% among FI, 6.9% among Cca and 3.3% among Cco (p<0.02). There was no serological reactivity among PS. The prevalence in 39 trapped rodents was 10.2%, with infection only for Oligoryzomys chacoensis, O. flavescens and Akodon varius species. The prevalence of human cases with asymptomatic infection in Salta is higher than in other regions of the country, and we are presenting a hypothesis to explain these differences. The analyzed data suggest that in this region up to the time this study was performed, there would not have been person to person transmission of hantavirus. The transmission would be from rodent contact exclusively and mainly in ongoing deforestation areas and domestic habitat surrounding rural dwellings.

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Accession: 035015799

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PMID: 11965841


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