Hantavirus is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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  • Segmented, negative-sense RNA virus. Large number of species (23 to date) with more discovered regularly.
  • Member of Bunyaviridae. Unlike other viruses in this family that are arthropod-borne, hantaviruses are rodent-borne viruses associated with specific reservoirs.
  • In the U.S., geographic locales differ:
    • Southeast: deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), cotton (Sigmodon hispidus) and rice (Oryzomys palustris) rats
    • Northeast: the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) has been associated.
  • Transmission to humans through inhalation of aerosolized saliva, urine or feces of reservoir host.
  • Hantavirus New World: (e.g., Sin Nombre virus) known to cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)
    • Carried by the New World rats and mice, family Muridae, subfamily Sigmodontinae; these rodents are not found in urban sites.
      • Deer mouse
      • Cotton rat
      • Rice rat
      • White-footed mouse
  • Hantaan virus, Old World: may cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), from an infected rodent or rodent excretions exposure.
    • Known rodent carriers:
      • Striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius, Saaremaa and Hantaan virus)
      • Brown or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus, Seoul virus)
      • Bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus, Puumala virus)
      • Yellow-necked field mouse (Apodemus flavicollis, Dobrava virus)
    • Puumala virus, a hantavirus carried in bank voles, may cause Nephropathia epidemica in humans primarily in Europe, western Russia.
    • Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) causes a more severe HFRS, again in Europe.
    • Hantaan virus: HFRS in predominantly eastern Asia
    • Saaremaa virus: Scandinavia, central Europe
    • Seoul virus: HFRS worldwide, most commonly in Asia, rare cases in North America.

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Last updated: May 4, 2019