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Dobrava-Belgrade Virus, Germany | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 15, Number 12–December 2009

Volume 15, Number 12–December 2009
Dobrava-Belgrade Virus Spillover Infections, Germany
Mathias Schlegel,1 Boris Klempa,1 Brita Auste, Margrit Bemmann, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, Thomas Büchner, Martin H. Groschup, Markus Meier, Anne Balkema-Buschmann, Hinrich Zoller, Detlev H. Krüger, and Rainer G. Ulrich
Author affiliations: Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut–Institute for Novel and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany (M. Schlegel, T. Büchner, M.H. Groschup, A. Balkema-Buschmann, R.G. Ulrich); Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany (B. Klempa, B. Auste, D.H. Krüger); Institute of Slovak Academy of Science, Bratislava, Slovakia (B. Klempa); Landesforstanstalt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schwerin, Germany (M. Bemmann); Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany (J. Schmidt-Chanasit); University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany (M. Meier); and University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany (H. Zoller)

Suggested citation for this article

We present the molecular identification of Apodemus agrarius (striped field mouse) as reservoir host of the Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) lineage DOBV-Aa in 3 federal states of Germany. Phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for multiple spillover of DOBV-Aa to A. flavicollis, a crucial prerequisite for host switch and genetic reassortment.

European hantaviruses are emerging viruses that can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) of differing severities. Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) is a hantavirus that appears in 3 distinct lineages hosted by different Apodemus species. The DOBV-Af lineage associated with the yellow-necked mouse (A. flavicollis) has caused serious HFRS in southeast Europe with a case-fatality rate <12% (1,2). Human infections with Caucasian wood mouse (A. ponticus)–associated DOBV-Ap have resulted in more moderate than severe HFRS in the southern part of European Russia (3). Mild-to-moderate human DOBV disease in central and eastern Europe has been connected with infection by DOBV-Aa lineage carried by the striped field mouse (A. agrarius) (3–5). Other A. agarius–associated strains, found in Estonia and called Saaremaa virus, have been proposed to form a distinct hantavirus species (6). In Germany, human DOBV cases with mild to moderate clinical outcomes have been detected by serologic investigations (4,7) but only 1 short DOBV-Aa small (S) segment sequence derived from a patient in northern Germany has been identified (8). The natural host and the geographic distribution of DOBV in its reservoir host has remained unknown in Germany.

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