Molecular detection of viruses causing hemorrhagic fevers in rodents in the south-west of Korea

  • Sehrish Jalal
  • Babita Jha
  • Choon-Mee Kim
  • Dong-Min Kim
  • Na-Ra Yun
  • Yang Soo Kim
  • Jung Wook Park
  • Jae Keun Chung


Many pathogens causing hemorrhagic fevers of medical and veterinary importance have been identified and isolated from rodents in the Republic of Korea (ROK). We investigated the occurrence of emerging viruses causing hemorrhagic fevers, such as hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), and flaviviruses, from wild rodents. Striped field mice, Apodemus agrarius (n = 39), were captured during 2014–2015 in the south-west of ROK. Using molecular methods, lung samples were evaluated for SFTS virus, hantavirus, and flavivirus, and seropositivity was evaluated in the blood. A high positive rate of hantavirus (46.2%) was detected in A. agrarius lungs by reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-N-PCR). The monthly occurrence of hantavirus was 16.7% in October, 86.7% in November, and 25% in August of the following year (p < 0.001). Moreover, 17.9% of blood samples were serologically positive for hantavirus antibodies. The most prevalent strain in A. agrarius was Hantaan virus. All samples were positive for neither SFTS virus nor flavivirus. Hantaan virus was detected in 86.7% of A. agrarius in November (autumn), and thus, virus shedding from A. agrarius can increase the risk of humans contracting HFRS. These findings may help to predict and prevent disease outbreaks in ROK.


Hemorrhagic fever virus Molecular diagnosis Rodents Republic of Korea 


Funding source

This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI15C2891).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Statements of compliance

This study was approved from institutional review board (IRB) of Chosun University. All animals were used according to an approved animal use protocol from Chosun University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (CIACUC).


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Copyright information

© Journal of NeuroVirology, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bio-Medical science, College of MedicineChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Premedical Science, College of MedicineChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine, College of MedicineChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Division of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Health and Environment Research Institute of Gwangju Metropolitan CityGwangjuRepublic of Korea

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