Title
Hantavirus outbreak in Western Europe: reservoir host infection dynamics related to human disease patternsHantavirus outbreak in Western Europe: reservoir host infection dynamics related to human disease patterns
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Research group
Evolutionary ecology group (EVECO)
Publication type
article
Publication
London,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Epidemiology and infection. - London, 1987, currens
Volume/pages
139(2011):3, p. 381-390
ISSN
0950-2688
1469-4409
ISI
000287612600007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Within Europe, Puumala virus (PUUV) is the causal agent of nephropathia epidemica (NE) in humans, a zoonotic disease with increasing significance in recent years. In a region of Belgium with a historically high incidence of NE, bank voles (the PUUV reservoir hosts), were monitored for PUUV IgG antibody prevalence in nine study sites before, during, and after the highest NE outbreak recorded in Belgium in 2005. We found that the highest numbers of PUUV IgG-positive voles coincided with the peak of NE cases at the regional level, indicating that a PUUV epizootic in bank voles directly led to the NE outbreak in humans. On a local scale, PUUV infection in voles was patchy and not correlated to NE incidence before the epizootic. However, during the epizootic period PUUV infection spread in the vole populations and was significantly correlated to local NE incidence. Initially, local bank-vole numbers were positively associated with local PUUV infection risk in voles, but this was no longer the case after the homogeneous spreading of PUUV during the PUUV outbreak.
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