Chapter 34 : Rodent-Borne Viruses

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Small mammals, including rodents, may participate in the sylvatic cycles of some arboviruses, but rodents serve as the primary reservoirs of two major groups of medically important viruses: those of the family Arenaviridae and those of the genus Hantavirus family Bunyaviridae. For both groups of viruses, there is evidence for coevolution with their rodent hosts. Several of the animal models develop diseases that have strong similarities to the human diseases caused by arenaviruses. For both hantaviruses and arenaviruses, reservoir rodents develop chronic infections that result in transient or periodic virus shedding in urine, feces, and saliva. Diagnosis of acute infection with arenaviruses is often problematic because specific antibody responses to arenavirus infections are often delayed until days to weeks after the illness has run its course. For LAS fever, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF), Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever (VHF), hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), vaccines represent the most probable route toward control of morbidity and mortality. Modern tools for predicting disease outbreaks have been increasingly developed, which should be in more fluent knowledge for the local health services.

Citation: Hjelle B, Torres-Perez F. 2009. Rodent-Borne Viruses, p 641-657. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch34
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Image of FIGURE 1

Peripheral blood smear (oil immersion) showing a typical immunoblast from a patient with acute HCPS. Note the large size (~16-µm diameter), immature chromatin, and basophilic cytoplasm. Immunoblasts are highly pleomorphic, and no single image should be taken as representative of the full spectrum of their appearance. Magnification, ×100. Photo courtesy of M. K. Foucar.

Citation: Hjelle B, Torres-Perez F. 2009. Rodent-Borne Viruses, p 641-657. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch34
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Image of FIGURE 2

In this highly simplified diagram, the most important of the presumed immunopatho-logical mechanisms of arenavirus infection (top) is contrasted with that of hantavirus infection (bottom). After recruitment by virus-infected cells, virus-specific CD8+ cells may engage in a direct cytolytic attack and destroy the infected cells, as seen in experimental arenavirus infections. Alternatively, they may help establish a milieu that results in a functional, transient defect in the barrier function among endothelial cells, resulting in transudation of plasma from the vascular space into the interstitium. Most likely, the CD8+ and/or CD4+ lymphocytes must collaborate with resident tissue macrophages to elicit the defect in the endothelial barrier function. In the case of both hanta-viruses and arenaviruses, it is likely that there are function defects in the barrier function of vascular endothelial cells even when cytolysis is not prominent.

Citation: Hjelle B, Torres-Perez F. 2009. Rodent-Borne Viruses, p 641-657. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch34
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Pathogenic hantaviruses and arenaviruses

Citation: Hjelle B, Torres-Perez F. 2009. Rodent-Borne Viruses, p 641-657. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch34
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Clinical and laboratory findings especially helpful in clinical diagnosis of HCPS and HFRS

Citation: Hjelle B, Torres-Perez F. 2009. Rodent-Borne Viruses, p 641-657. In Specter S, Hodinka R, Young S, Wiedbrauk D (ed), Clinical Virology Manual, Fourth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815974.ch34

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