Accessibility / Report Error

A retrospective serologic survey of hantavirus infections in the county of Cássia dos Coqueiros, State of São Paulo, Brazil

Inquérito sorológico retrospectivo das infecções por hantavirus no município de Cássia dos Coqueiros, Estado de São Paulo, Brasil

INTRODUCTION: In recent years, hantavirus infections producing severe diseases have obtained an increased attention from public health authorities from the countries of Eurasia to the Americas. Brazil has reported 1,300 cases of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) from 1993 to 2010, with about 80 of them occurring in the northeast of the State of São Paulo, with 48% fatality rate. Araraquara virus was the causative agent of HCPS in the region. Considering that hantaviruses causing human disease in the Americas were unknown until 1993, we have looked for hantavirus infections in the population of Cássia dos Coqueiros county, northeast of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, before this time. This county has about 2,800 inhabitants and an economy based on agriculture, including cultivation of Brachiaria decumbens grass. The grass seeds are an important rodent attraction, facilitating transmission of hantavirus to man. Four HCPS cases were reported so far in the county. METHODS: In this study, 1,876 sera collected from 1987 to 1990 were tested for IgG to hantavirus by IgG-ELISA, using the N recombinant protein of Araraquara virus as antigen. RESULTS: Positive results were observed in 89 (4.7%) samples, which were all collected in 1987. The positivity among urban inhabitants was 5.3%, compared with 4.3% among those living in rural areas. CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that hantavirus infections occurred in Cássia dos Coqueiros, completely unrecognized, even before hantaviruses were described in the Americas.

Hantavirus; Serologic survey; Cássia dos Coqueiros

Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical - SBMT Caixa Postal 118, 38001-970 Uberaba MG Brazil, Tel.: +55 34 3318-5255 / +55 34 3318-5636/ +55 34 3318-5287, - Uberaba - MG - Brazil