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Open AccessReview

Hantavirus Immunology of Rodent Reservoirs: Current Status and Future Directions

Arthropod-borne and Infectious Diseases Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80524, USA
Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2014, 6(3), 1317-1335;
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantaviruses)
PDF [715 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]


Hantaviruses are hosted by rodents, insectivores and bats. Several rodent-borne hantaviruses cause two diseases that share many features in humans, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Eurasia or hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome in the Americas. It is thought that the immune response plays a significant contributory role in these diseases. However, in reservoir hosts that have been closely examined, little or no pathology occurs and infection is persistent despite evidence of adaptive immune responses. Because most hantavirus reservoirs are not model organisms, it is difficult to conduct meaningful experiments that might shed light on how the viruses evade sterilizing immune responses and why immunopathology does not occur. Despite these limitations, recent advances in instrumentation and bioinformatics will have a dramatic impact on understanding reservoir host responses to hantaviruses by employing a systems biology approach to identify important pathways that mediate virus/reservoir relationships. View Full-Text
Keywords: hantavirus; rodent; immune response; ecoimmunology; zoonosis; systems biology hantavirus; rodent; immune response; ecoimmunology; zoonosis; systems biology

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Schountz, T.; Prescott, J. Hantavirus Immunology of Rodent Reservoirs: Current Status and Future Directions. Viruses 2014, 6, 1317-1335.

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