Wild, Laboratory, and Pet Rats-Induced Seoul Hantavirus Disease Worldwide
Despite having been studied and isolated on four continents (Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa) since the early 1980s, rat-borne Seoul hantaviruses are only now being recognized globally as important human pathogens. Recent reports from Europe and the United States described Seoul hantavirus infection in pet rats and their breeders or owners, implying the emergence of a “new” public health problem. Due to the omnipresence of the rodent reservoir, the brown rat Rattus norvegicus, wild and laboratory rat-induced Seoul hantavirus infections have been described since the early 1980s. Recent research found no significant differences. pathogenicity and phylogeny of pet rat-Seoul hantaviruses versus previously described wild or laboratory rat counterparts The scarcity of diagnosed Seoul virus-induced disease in the West contrasts sharply with the thousands of cases recorded in the Far East since the 1980s, particularly in China. This review of four continents (Asia, Europe, America, and Africa) puts this “emerging infection” in historical context, concluding that greater medical awareness of Seoul virus-induced human pathology is urgently needed in many parts of the world. Given the majority of the milder and atypical Clinical presentation, sometimes with preserved normal kidney function, emphasizes the importance of simple urine examination, as initial, massive but transient proteinuria and microhematuria are rarely absent. Many specific hantaviruses are now recognized, thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology and increased clinical awareness; however, SEOV remains the most widely distributed hantavirus worldwide.
National Reference Centre for Hantaviruses, Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, University Hospital of Leuven, Belg
James W. Le Duc
Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.
Laboratory for Public Health England, Porton Down, Wiltshire, UK.
National Reference Centre for Hantaviruses, Unité de Biologie des Infections Virales Emergentes, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.
Wildlife Zoonoses and Vector Borne Diseases Group, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Surrey, UK.
Marc Van Ranst
National Reference Centre for Hantaviruses, Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, University Hospital of Leuven, Belgium.
WHO Collaborating Centre for Hemorrhagic Fever with renal Syndrome, National Academy of Science, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
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acute kidney injury (AKI) brown rat Hantavirus hantavirus cardio-pulmonary syndrome (HCPS) hantavirus disease hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) laboratory rat pet rat proteinuria Seoul virus (SEOV) wild rat