Hantavirus infection and habitat associations among rodent populations in agroecosystems of Panama: Implications for human disease risk

Aníbal G. Armién, Blas Armién, Frederick Koster, Juan M. Pascale, Mario Avila, Publio Gonzalez, Manuel De La Cruz, Yamitzel Zaldivar, Yaxelis Mendoza, Fernando Gracia, Brian Hjelle, Sang Joon Lee, Terry L. Yates, Jorge Salazar-Bravo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), which is caused by infection with Choclo virus, is uncommon in Panama, yet seropositivity among rural residents is as high as 60%. To clarify the environmental risk factors favoring rodent-to-human transmission, we tested serum from 3,067 rodents captured over a five-year period for antibodies against recombinant N protein of hantavirus by enzyme immunoassay and strip immunoblot. Among 220 seropositive rodents, Oligoryzomys fulvescens, the reservoir of Choclo virus, had the highest overall seroprevalence (23.5%); more abundant rodents (Zygodontomys brevicauda and Sigmodon hirsutus) had lower seroprevalences. In the mixed (combined modern and traditional) productive agroecosystem, the highest seroprevalence was among O. fulvescens captured in residences and in crops grown within 40 meters of a residence, with significantly lower seroprevalence in adjacent pasture and non-productive vegetation. Thus, crop habitats may serve as refugia for invasion into adjacent human residences and suggests several interventions to reduce human infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

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