Dynamics of Puumala hantavirus infection in naturally infected bank voles (Clethrinomys glareolus)
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Specific features of hantavirus infection in bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) were studied in the endemic area of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in the foothills of the Ural mountains, using long-term observations on living animals by the capture-mark-recapture (CMR) method. The results demonstrated that the infection naturally circulating in the voles is chronic (lasting for up to 15 months) and asymptomatic, with a peak of Puumala virus accumulation and release from the organism during the first month after infection. It was shown that the bank vole population includes young animals with maternal immunity, which remain resistant to the Puumala virus infection for 3–3.5 months. The infection rate in voles depended on the age and sexual maturity of animals. The greatest proportion of seropositive animals was observed among overwintered males. Seroconversion in voles was more frequent during the period of high reproductive activity.
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