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Antibody to hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome viruses (Hantaviruses) in the United States



Antibody to hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome viruses (Hantaviruses) in the United States



American Journal of Epidemiology 126(6): 1210-1213



Hantaviruses similar to those which cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome have been isolated from rodents in the United States. Serologic evidence suggests that these viruses infect humans. Clinical disease has not, however, been associated with infection in the United States. To expand knowledge of the distribution of Hantaviruses in the United States and attempt to identify a clinical syndrome associated with infection, a serologic survey was undertaken of US Forestry Service personnel and US Geological Survey personnel in Mississippi, Virginia, and Alaska. In addition, sera from persons with unidentified illnesses were collected from state public health laboratories in Washington state and Virginia. One of 85 sera (1.2%) from Forestry Service personnel in Mississippi and one of 79 sera (1.3%) from Forestry Service personnel in Virginia, and nine of 360 sera (2.5%) from Forestry Service and Geological Service personnel in Alaska were tested by immunofluorescent assay and were found to have antibody to Hantaan, Tchoupitoulas, or Prospect Hill viruses, ranging in titer from 1:32 to 1:512. Those persons questioned revealed no renal disease, hemorrhagic phenomenon, or unidentified febrile illnesses. Sera from two persons in Virginia, collected at the time of an illness, had antibody titers of 1:32 and 1:64, respectively, to Prospect Hill virus. An etiologic role for Prospect Hill virus could not be confirmed. Current information would suggest that Hantaviruses do not present a public health problem in the United States.

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Accession: 039295967

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PMID: 2891295


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