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Hantavirus Detection in Rodent Tissue and Urine: Effectiveness

Author(s): Sofia Martina

Orthohantaviruses are naturally found in rodents, soricomorphs, and bats, and it is widely recognised that they can cause serious or even deadly infections in humans all over the world. Animals have the virus for the rest of their lives, and it is spread by urine, saliva, and faeces. The goal of this study is to see how successful hantavirus detection is in rodent tissue samples and urine from spontaneously infected animals. Initially, animals were imprisoned in five different areas across Hungary's Transdanubian region. 163 animals were sacrificed, and samples of their lungs, liver, kidneys, and urine were taken. The nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to test all organs and urine (nRT-PCR). In addition, using a Western blot technique, sera were tested for IgG antibodies against the Dobrava–Belgrade virus (DOBV) and the Puumala virus (PUUV). In 25 (15.3 percent) of the cases, IgG antibodies against hantaviruses and/or nucleic acid were found. DOBV, PUUV, and Tula virus (TULV) were clearly detected in Apodemus, Myodes, and Microtus rodent species. The nucleic acid of the viruses was found most successfully in the kidney (100%) among the PCR-positive samples, while only 55 percent of tested lung tissues were positive. Surprisingly, only three of twenty rodent urine samples were positive using nRT-PCR. Furthermore, five rodents were seropositive despite the absence of viral nucleic acid in any of the organs tested.

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