Serosurvey of pathogenic hantaviruses among forestry workers in Hungary
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Szentágothai Research Center, Virological Research Group, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
Faculty of Sciences, Institute of Biology, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
Medical School, 2nd Department of Internal Medicine and Nephrology Center, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
Center for Agricultural Research, Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2014;27(5):766-73
Objectives: The aim of the study was to survey the prevalence of human hantavirus infections among forestry workers, who are considered a risk population for contracting the disease. Sera collected from volunteers were tested for antibodies against Dobrava-Belgrade (DOBV) and Puumala (PUUV) viruses. Material and Methods: For serological analyses, full capsid proteins of DOBV and PUUV viruses were produced in a bacterial expression system, while Ni-resin was used for protein purification. Samples were screened for anti-hantavirus antibodies by ELISA, results were confirmed by Western blot analysis. Results: A total of 835 samples collected from 750 males and 85 females were tested by indirect ELISA and positive test results were confirmed by Western blot assay. Out of the 45 ELISA-reactive samples, 38 were confirmed by Western blot analysis. The regional distribution of seropositive individuals was as follows: 1.9% (2/107) in the Danube-Tisza Plateau (Great Plains), 3.1% (10/321) in the Southern Transdanubian region, 5.2% (13/248) in the Northern Transdanubian, and 8.2% (13/159) in the North Hungarian Mountains. Conclusions: Our data show marked geographic differences in seroprevalence of pathogenic hantaviruses within Hungary, indicating elevated exposure to hantavirus infections in some areas.
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