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Molecular signature of hantavirus infection in humans decoded

Date:
September 3, 2012
Source:
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Summary:
Scientists have succeeded in clarifying the molecular signature of the viruses that lead to an increasing size and number of hantavirus outbreaks in Germany.

Scientists at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Labor Berlin GmbH have succeeded in clarifying the molecular signature of the viruses that lead to an increasing size and number of hantavirus outbreaks in Germany.

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These illnesses affect foremost the kidneys and lungs. Using a newly created register, the study results now enable comparison of the genetic information of a particular viral strain detected in a patient with the hantaviruses in circulation in Germany. "We can now precisely allocate a patient's viral strain where the infection occurred in a particular region at risk in Germany," explains virologist Prof. Detlev Krüger, director of the Charité Institute for Medical Virology. Study results are published in the September issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases*.

Hantaviruses are harbored by particular types of mice and transmitted to humans through their excretions and excrement. Infection in humans causes fever, pain -- and in serious cases -- kidney failure. Whereas this infection was almost unknown in Germany a few years ago, in the meantime the hantavirus belongs to one of the five most frequently occurring viral illnesses subject to registration. To date, the Robert Koch Institute has already registered 2,261 cases of the virus this year so that 2012 already marks a "hantavirus record year." This demands new research efforts into the illness, its spread and risk of infection. Through the study results, particular regions where the virus breaks out and the risk of human infection within Germany can be increasingly better defined and understood.

The Berlin researchers' work was made possible by a tight network of physicians and zoologists throughout Germany, as well as by scientists from the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Greifswald.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jakob Ettinger, Jorg Hofmann, Martin Enders, Friedemann Tewald, Rainer M. Oehme, Ulrike M. Rosenfeld, Hanan Sheikh Ali, Mathias Schlegel, Sandra Essbauer, Anja Osterberg, Jens Jacob, Daniela Reil, Boris Klempa, Rainer G. Ulrich, Detlev H. Kruger. Multiple Synchronous Outbreaks of Puumala Virus, Germany, 2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2012; 18 (9): 1461 DOI: 10.3201/eid1809.111447

Cite This Page:

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Molecular signature of hantavirus infection in humans decoded." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143058.htm>.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (2012, September 3). Molecular signature of hantavirus infection in humans decoded. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143058.htm
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Molecular signature of hantavirus infection in humans decoded." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120903143058.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

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