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Londono A.F.,University of Antioquia | Levis S.,Instituto Nacional Of Enfermedades Virales Humanas | Rodas J.D.,University of Antioquia
Biomedica | Year: 2011

The dawning of the 20th century was marked by the emergence of new infectious disease agents and the appearance of others previously thought controlled. Both phenomena were possibly connected with ecological disturbances that led to the recognition of a dramatic climate change, of which the effects are only now becoming noticeable. Among the variety of agents to be considered, the many new viruses stand out, not only for their numerical proliferation, but also for their genetic versatility. It is this quality that provides them dexterity for evolving new strategies and adaptations to changing environmental conditions. Recently, some of the most ubiquitous and well-publicized viral agents in the American continents have been the rodent-borne viruses, and among these are the hantaviruses, etiological agents of pulmonary syndromes. Approximately 18 hantaviruses (belonging to the family Bunyaviridae), have been discovered in South America during the last 20 years, and although most of them cause persistent infections and subclinical infections in wild rodents (particularly members of the subfamily Sigmodontinae) and humans respectively; some others might also be highly lethal for humans. The goal herein is to review the state of the art regarding general aspects of hantaviruses and the diseases they cause around the world, highlighting the most recent findings in Colombia. Finally, the many unanswered questions will be recognized and highlighted concerning clinical importance and socio-economic impact of these agents on quality of public health in Colombia.

Londono A.F.,University of Antioquia | Diaz F.J.,Inmunovirologia | Agudelo-Florez P.,CES University | Levis S.,Instituto Nacional Of Enfermedades Virales Humanas | Rodas J.D.,University of Antioquia
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

This report builds on recent serological evidence for the presence of hantavirus in northern Colombia by providing sequence-specific and phylogenetic data of hantavirus infections in wild rodents. From August 2007 to August 2008, 354 rodent specimens representing four families were collected in the northwestern Antioquia region of Colombia. Antibodies reactive to Sin Nombre virus and Maciel virus antigens by IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were found in 15 of 109 (14%) Cherries cane rats (Zygodontomys cherriei), the only sigmodontinae rodents captured. Lung tissue samples from 11 of the 15 seropositive rodents were RT-polymerase chain reaction positive for hantavirus RNA, using primers for the S and M genome segments. Eight of these amplicons were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses indicated RNA of a hantavirus closely related to Calabazo virus, previously found in Panama. This is the first report of the genetic characterization of a hantavirus in rodents in Colombia. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Figueiredo L.T.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Souza W.M.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Ferres M.,University of Santiago de Chile | Enria D.A.,Instituto Nacional Of Enfermedades Virales Humanas
Virus Research | Year: 2014

Hantavirus (Bunyaviridae) cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) is an emerging health problem in South America due to urban growth and to the expansion of agriculture and cattle-raising areas into ecosystems containing most of the species of Sigmodontinae rodents that act as hantavirus reservoirs. About 4000 HCPS cases have been reported in South America up to 2013, associated with the following hantaviruses: Andes, Anajatuba, Araraquara (ARQV), Paranoá, Bermejo, Castelo dos Sonhos, Juquitiba, Araucária, Laguna Negra, Lechiguanas, Maripa, Oran, Rio Mamore and Tunari. The transmission of hantavirus to man occurs by contact with or through aerosols of excreta and secretions of infected rodents. Person-to-person transmission of hantavirus has also been reported in Argentina and Chile. HCPS courses with a capillary leaking syndrome produced by the hantavirus infecting lung endothelial cells and mostly with a severe inflammatory process associated with a cytokine storm. HCPS starts as a dengue-like acute febrile illness but after about 3 days progresses to respiratory failure and cardiogenic shock, leading to a high fatality rate that reaches 50% for patients infected with ARQV. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

de Almeida D.N.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Favacho A.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Rozental T.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Barcaui H.,Hospital Universitario Clementino Fraga Filho | And 9 more authors.
Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases | Year: 2010

The authors present a fatal case of spotted fever group rickettsiosis (SFGR) caused by Rickettsia conorii conorii mimicking a hemorrhagic viral fever in a South African male on a business trip in Brazil. SFGR was confirmed by molecular and immunohistochemical analyses. © 2010.

Zeitlin L.,Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. | Geisbert J.B.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Deer D.J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Fenton K.A.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 20 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2016

Countermeasures against potential biothreat agents remain important to US Homeland Security, and many of these pharmaceuticals could have dual use in the improvement of global public health. Junin virus, the causative agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF), is an arenavirus identified as a category A high-priority agent. There are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs available for preventing or treating AHF, and the current treatment option is limited to administration of immune plasma. Whereas immune plasma demonstrates the feasibility of passive immunotherapy, it is limited in quantity, variable in quality, and poses safety risks such as transmission of transfusion-borne diseases. In an effort to develop a monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based alternative to plasma, three previously described neutralizing murine mAbs were expressed as mouse-human chimeric antibodies and evaluated in the Guinea pig model of AHF. These mAbs provided 100% protection against lethal challenge when administered 2 d after infection (dpi), and one of them (J199) was capable of providing 100% protection when treatment was initiated 6 dpi and 92% protection when initiated 7 dpi. The efficacy of J199 is superior to that previously described for all other evaluated drugs, and its high potency suggests that mAbs like J199 offer an economical alternative to immune plasma and an effective dual use (bioterrorism/public health) therapeutic.

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