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Ecology of Neglected Rodent-Borne American Orthohantaviruses

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Department of Virology, University of Helsinki, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Helsinki, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(5), 325;
Received: 9 April 2020 / Revised: 23 April 2020 / Accepted: 24 April 2020 / Published: 26 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantavirus Infections)
The number of documented American orthohantaviruses has increased significantly over recent decades, but most fundamental research has remained focused on just two of them: Andes virus (ANDV) and Sin Nombre virus (SNV). The majority of American orthohantaviruses are known to cause disease in humans, and most of these pathogenic strains were not described prior to human cases, indicating the importance of understanding all members of the virus clade. In this review, we summarize information on the ecology of under-studied rodent-borne American orthohantaviruses to form general conclusions and highlight important gaps in knowledge. Information regarding the presence and genetic diversity of many orthohantaviruses throughout the distributional range of their hosts is minimal and would significantly benefit from virus isolations to indicate a reservoir role. Additionally, few studies have investigated the mechanisms underlying transmission routes and factors affecting the environmental persistence of orthohantaviruses, limiting our understanding of factors driving prevalence fluctuations. As landscapes continue to change, host ranges and human exposure to orthohantaviruses likely will as well. Research on the ecology of neglected orthohantaviruses is necessary for understanding both current and future threats to human health. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hantaviridae; hantavirus; HCPS; host-switch; reservoir; spillover; transmission Hantaviridae; hantavirus; HCPS; host-switch; reservoir; spillover; transmission
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Mull, N.; Jackson, R.; Sironen, T.; Forbes, K.M. Ecology of Neglected Rodent-Borne American Orthohantaviruses. Pathogens 2020, 9, 325.

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