Monday, March 10, 2008

Hantavirus found in human saliva

Researchers in Sweden published information this week about a study done on possible routs of transmission for Hantavirus. The disease nephropathia epidemica is a mild form of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome and is caused by the Puumala Virus, a member of the Hantavirus Genus of Bunyaviridae. Patients with this disease were tested for the presence of the virus in their saliva, and 10 of the 14 patients were found to have measurable amounts of viral RNA in their saliva. To detect the virus, the researchers used RT-PCR (cool applications of retrovirus biology). This discovery suggests a possible route for person-person transmission of hantavirus. Scary in light of the severe consequences of infection!


Jon D.

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