Abstract: Hantaviruses are widespread emergent zoonotic agents that cause unapparent or limited disease in their rodent hosts, yet cause acute, often fatal pulmonary or renal infections in humans. Previous laboratory experiments with rodent reservoir hosts indicate that hantaviruses can be cleared from host blood early in the infection cycle, while sequestered long term in various host organs. Field studies of North American deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), the natural reservoir of Sin Nombre hantavirus, have shown that viral RNA can be transiently detected well past the early acute infection stage, but only in the minority of infected mice. Here, using a non-degenerate RT-PCR assay optimized for SNV strains known to circulate in Montana, USA, we show that viral RNA can be repeatedly detected on a monthly basis in up to 75% of antibody positive deer mice for periods up to 3–6 months. More importantly, our data show that antibody positive male deer mice are more than twice as likely to have detectable SNV RNA in their blood as antibody positive females, suggesting that SNV-infected male deer mice are more likely to shed virus and for longer periods of time.
Keywords: Sin Nombre hantavirus; deer mouse; Peromyscus maniculatus; transmission; viral RNA; RT-PCR
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Bagamian, K.H.; Towner, J.S.; Mills, J.N.; Kuenzi, A.J. Increased Detection of Sin Nombre Hantavirus RNA in Antibody-Positive Deer Mice from Montana, USA: Evidence of Male Bias in RNA Viremia. Viruses 2013, 5, 2320-2328.
Bagamian KH, Towner JS, Mills JN, Kuenzi AJ. Increased Detection of Sin Nombre Hantavirus RNA in Antibody-Positive Deer Mice from Montana, USA: Evidence of Male Bias in RNA Viremia. Viruses. 2013; 5(9):2320-2328.
Bagamian, Karoun H.; Towner, Jonathan S.; Mills, James N.; Kuenzi, Amy J. 2013. "Increased Detection of Sin Nombre Hantavirus RNA in Antibody-Positive Deer Mice from Montana, USA: Evidence of Male Bias in RNA Viremia." Viruses 5, no. 9: 2320-2328.