A 19 year analysis of small mammals associated with human hantavirus cases in Chile

Fernando Torres-Pérez, R. Eduardo Palma, Dusan Boric-Bargetto, Cecilia Vial, Marcela Ferrés, Pablo A. Vial, Constanza Martínez-Valdebenito, Carlos Pavletic, Alonso Parra, Pablo A. Marquet, Gregory J. Mertz

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6 Scopus citations


Small mammals present in areas where hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) cases had occurred in central and southern Chile were captured and analyzed to evaluate the abundance of rodents and seroprevalence rates of antibodies to Andes orthohantavirus (ANDV). Sampling areas ranged from the Coquimbo to Aysén regions (30–45 S approx.) regions. Ninety-two sites in peridomestic and countryside areas were evaluated in 19 years of sampling. An antibody against ANDV was detected by strip immunoassay in 58 of 1847 specimens captured using Sherman traps. Of the eleven species of rodents sampled, Abrothrix olivacea, Oligoryzomys longicaudatus and Abrothrix hirta were the most frequently trapped. O. longicaudatus had the highest seropositivity rate, and by logistic regression analysis, O. longicaudatus of at least 60 g had 80% or higher probability to be seropositive. Sex, age and wounds were significantly related to seropositivity only for O. longicaudatus. Across administrative regions, the highest seropositivity was found in the El Maule region (34.8–36.2 S), and the highest number of HCPS cases was registered in the Aysén region. Our results highlight the importance of long term and geographically extended studies, particularly for highly fluctuating pathogens and their reservoirs, to understand the implications of the dynamics and transmission of zoonotic diseases in human populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number848
Issue number9
StatePublished - 12 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Andes orthohantavirus
  • Chile
  • Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome
  • Hantavirus spatial distribution
  • Oligoryzomys longicaudatus
  • Peridomestic
  • Rodent reservoir
  • Seroprevalence


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