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Chapter 86 : Hantavirus Infections
The genus Hantavirus is composed of plus-strand RNA viruses within the family Bunyaviridae. The genus is named for the prototypical virus species, Hantaan virus (HTNV). The disease caused by Hantaan virus, now called hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), came to the attention of western medicine during the Korean war, when soldiers presented with symptoms of fever, hemorrhage, hypotension, and renal failure. Several viruses were isolated that were serologically distinct from HTNV but grouped with Seoul virus. In the early 1980s, the prototypical indigenous North American hantavirus, Prospect Hill virus (PHV), was isolated from the lung tissue of a vole, Microtus Pennsylvanicus. The nucleotide sequence of the amplimer obtained from the lung tissue of a deer mouse captured at a case-patient’s residence was nearly identical to that of the amplimer obtained from the tissues of the patient obtained at necropsy, lending further support to the hypothesis that the patient had contracted the virus from a deer mouse. The existence of a second open reading frame is useful diagnostically because its consistent presence in Sin Nombre virus (SNV) imposes an additional constraint on sequence variability in that part of the genome.