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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Seroepidemiologic studies of hantavirus infection among wild rodents in California.

  • Author(s): Jay, M
  • Ascher, MS
  • Chomel, BB
  • Madon, M
  • Sesline, D
  • Enge, BA
  • Hjelle, B
  • Ksiazek, TG
  • Rollin, PE
  • Kass, PH
  • Reilly, K
  • et al.

A total of 4,626 mammals were serologically tested for antibodies to Sin Nombre virus. All nonrodent species were antibody negative. Among wild rodents, antibody prevalence was 8.5% in murids, 1.4% in heteromyids, and < 0.1% in sciurids. Of 1,921 Peromyscus maniculatus (deer mice), 226 (11.8%) were antibody positive, including one collected in 1975. The highest antibody prevalence (71.4% of 35) was found among P. maniculatus on Santa Cruz Island, off the southern California coast. Prevalence of antibodies among deer mice trapped near sites of human cases (26.8% of 164) was significantly higher than that of mice from other sites (odds ratio = 4.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.7, 11.6). Antibody prevalence increased with rising elevation (> 1,200 meters) and correlated with a spatial cluster of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome cases in the Sierra Nevada.

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