martes, 9 de junio de 2015

Ahead of Print -Novel Arenavirus Isolates from Namaqua Rock Mice, Namibia, Southern Africa - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC


Ahead of Print -Novel Arenavirus Isolates from Namaqua Rock Mice, Namibia, Southern Africa - Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC 24/7: Saving Lives. Protecting People.

Volume 21, Number 7—July 2015


Novel Arenavirus Isolates from Namaqua Rock Mice, Namibia, Southern Africa

Peter T. WitkowskiComments to Author , René Kallies, Julia Hoveka, Brita Auste, Ndapewa L. Ithete, Katarína Šoltys, Tomáš Szemes, Christian Drosten, Wolfgang Preiser, Boris Klempa, John K.E. Mfune, and Detlev H. Kruger
Author affiliations: Charité Medical School, Berlin, Germany (P.T. Witkowski, B. Auste, B. Klempa, D.H. Kruger);Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ, Leipzig, Germany (R. Kallies)University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany (R. Kallies, C. Drosten)University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia (J. Hoveka, J.K.E. Mfune)Stellenbosch University and National Health Laboratory Services Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa (N.L. Ithete, W. Preiser)Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia (K. Šoltys, T. Szemes)Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava (B. Klempa)


Arenaviruses are feared as agents that cause viral hemorrhagic fevers. We report the identification, isolation, and genetic characterization of 2 novel arenaviruses from Namaqua rock mice in Namibia. These findings extend knowledge of the distribution and diversity of arenaviruses in Africa.
Arenaviruses are known to cause severe hemorrhagic fevers across the globe with case fatality rates up to 30% (1). The viruses possess a bisegmented, single-stranded RNA genome with ambisense coding strategy consisting of a small segment coding for the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein and a large (L) segment coding for the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and matrix protein.
In Africa, Lassa virus (LASV) and Lujo virus are the only known members of the family Arenaviridae that cause human disease (2,3); however, evidence for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, another Arenaviridae sp., was recently reported in Gabon (4). Several other arenaviruses of unknown pathogenic potential have also been found in Africa: Gbagroube, Kodoko, and Menekre viruses from western Africa (5,6); Ippy (IPPYV) and Mobala viruses from central Africa; Mopeia, Morogoro, Luna, and Lunk viruses from eastern Africa; and Merino Walk virus (MWV) from southern Africa (7,8). All of these viruses are carried by rodents of the family Muridae.
Until now, no molecular detection of arenaviruses has been reported from Namibia. A study in 1991 described a low seroprevalence (0.8%) for LASV antibodies in humans in northern Namibia (9). Because of lack of data about arenavirus occurrence and effects in southwestern Africa, we conducted a study of small mammals from Namibia to detect infection with arenaviruses.

Dr. Witkowski is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Virology of the Charité Medical School in Berlin, Germany. His research interests are viral emerging infectious diseases on the African continent and their clinical impact and evolution.


We thank C. Chimimba for advice in small mammal systematics, P. Chimwamurombe for advice during preliminary screening for arenaviruses, and C. Priemer for technical support.
Trapping in Namibia was carried out under research permit nos. 1572/2011, 1666/2012 and 1794/2013, granted by Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
This study was supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant KR1293/13-1) and by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract no. DO7RP-0008-09.


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Suggested citation for this article: Witkowski PT, Kallies R, Hoveka J, Auste B, Ithete NL, Šoltys T, et al. Novel arenavirus isolates from Namaqua rock mice, Namibia, Southern Africa. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jul [date cited].
DOI: 10.3201/eid2107.141341

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