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Wild Rats, Laboratory Rats, Pet Rats: Global Seoul Hantavirus Disease Revisited

1
National Reference Centre for Hantavirus Infections, Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, University Hospital of Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2
Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-0610, USA
3
Laboratory for Public Health England, Porton Down, Wiltshire SP4 OJG, UK
4
National Reference Centre for Hantaviruses, Unité Environnement et Risques Infectieux, Institut Pasteur, 75724 Paris CEDEX 15, France
5
Wildlife Zoonoses and Vector Borne Diseases Group, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Surrey KT15 3NB, UK
6
WHO Collaborating Centre for Hemorrhagic Fever with renal Syndrome, National Academy of Science, Seoul 06579, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11070652
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantaviruses)
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PDF [7077 KB, uploaded 25 July 2019]
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Abstract

Recent reports from Europe and the USA described Seoul orthohantavirus infection in pet rats and their breeders/owners, suggesting the potential emergence of a “new” public health problem. Wild and laboratory rat-induced Seoul infections have, however, been described since the early eighties, due to the omnipresence of the rodent reservoir, the brown rat Rattus norvegicus. Recent studies showed no fundamental differences between the pathogenicity and phylogeny of pet rat-induced Seoul orthohantaviruses and their formerly described wild or laboratory rat counterparts. The paucity of diagnosed Seoul virus-induced disease in the West is in striking contrast to the thousands of cases recorded since the 1980s in the Far East, particularly in China. This review of four continents (Asia, Europe, America, and Africa) puts this “emerging infection” into a historical perspective, concluding there is an urgent need for greater medical awareness of Seoul virus-induced human pathology in many parts of the world. Given the mostly milder and atypical clinical presentation, sometimes even with preserved normal kidney function, the importance of simple but repeated urine examination is stressed, since initial but transient proteinuria and microhematuria are rarely lacking. View Full-Text
Keywords: hantavirus; Seoul virus (SEOV); brown rat; wild rat; laboratory rat; pet rat; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS); acute kidney injury (AKI); hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome (HCPS); hantavirus disease hantavirus; Seoul virus (SEOV); brown rat; wild rat; laboratory rat; pet rat; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS); acute kidney injury (AKI); hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome (HCPS); hantavirus disease
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Clement, J.; LeDuc, J.W.; Lloyd, G.; Reynes, J.-M.; McElhinney, L.; Van Ranst, M.; Lee, H.-W. Wild Rats, Laboratory Rats, Pet Rats: Global Seoul Hantavirus Disease Revisited. Viruses 2019, 11, 652.

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