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Group V ((−)ssRNA)
Andes virus (ANDV) is a species of hantavirus which is a major causative agent of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS or HPS) in South America. It is named for the Andes mountains of Chile and Argentina, where it was first discovered.
HCPS as a result of Andes virus infection has a case fatality rate of about 25–35% in Argentina and 37% in Chile. ANDV, lineage ANDV-Sout, is the only hantavirus for which person-to-person transmission has been described; all other human hantavirus infections are transmitted exclusively from animals to humans. Several ANDV strains are co-circulating in Argentina (e.g. Bermejo, Lechiguanas, Maciel, Oran and Pergamino). HCPS cases have also been reported in nearby Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, but only for Chile and Argentina can they be strictly associated with ANDV.
In Argentina and Chile, the long-tailed rice rat, Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, and other species of the genus Oligoryzomys, have been documented as the reservoir for ANDV. Another unique characteristic of ANDV is the availability of an animal model. ANDV causes lethal disease in the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) that closely models the course of disease progression in humans, including a rapid progression from first symptoms to death, which is characterized by fluid in the pleural cavity and the histopathology of the lungs and spleen. Lethality of ANDV in hamsters is not true of all viruses causing HCPS; hamsters infected with Sin Nombre virus, for example, show no symptoms of disease. The availability of this model allows for the study of various drugs and other treatments that may affect the treatment of all HCPS-causing hantavirus infections.
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