A small-scale survey of hantavirus in mammals from eastern Poland
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Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Epidemiology, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Parasitology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Corresponding author
Angelina Wójcik-Fatla   

Department of Zoonoses, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(2):283-286
Samples of 30 dead small mammals each were collected on area ‘A’ located in eastern Poland which is exposed to flooding by the Vistula river, and on the area ‘B’, also located in eastern Poland but not exposed to flooding. Kidneys and livers of the mammals were examined by the PCR and nested PCR methods for the presence of hantavirus RNA. Out of 7 species of small mammals examined, the presence of hantaviruses was detected in 4 of them. Hantavirus prevalence was low in Apodemus agrarius (2.6%), the most numerous mammal species, whereas in the remaining 3 positive species (Microtus agrestis, Myodes glareolus, Sorex araneus) this was 12.5–100%. The presence of hantaviruses was detected only in the animals found on area ‘A’ exposed to flooding, and their prevalence was statistically greater compared to area ‘B’ not exposed to flooding (16.7% vs. 0%, p=0.0345). The overall positivity of the examined small mammals population from the areas ‘A’ and ‘B’ was 8.3%. The sequence analysis of the samples positive for hantavirus proved that the amplified products showed 77–86% homology with the L segment sequence of hantavirus Fusong-Mf-731 isolated from Microtus fortis in China. The presented study is the first to demonstrate the occurrence of hantavirus infection in small mammals from eastern Poland, and the first to demonstrate the significant relationship between flooding and the prevalence of hantaviruses in small mammals.
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