Issue: 2015 > May > review

Seoul hantavirus in brown rats in the Netherlands: implications for physicians - Epidemiology, clinical aspects, treatment and diagnostics



REVIEW
M. Goeijenbier, J. Verner-Carlsson, E.C.M. van Gorp, B. Rockx, M.P.G. Koopmans, . Lundkvist, J.W.B. van der Giessen, C.B.E.M. Reusken
AbstractFull textPDF

Abstract

The recent discovery of Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) presence in wild rat populations in the Netherlands has direct implications for Dutch clinicians and hantavirus diagnostics. SEOV is amongst the Old World hantaviruses which cause haemorrhagic fever and renal syndrome (HFRS) in humans. HFRS is characterised by a classical triad of fever, acute kidney injury and haemorrhage, but can show different signs and symptoms in specific cases. SEOV is transmitted from infected rats to humans by inhalation of aerosolised excreta. When compared with the known circulating hantaviruses in the Netherlands, Puumala (PUUV) and Tula (TULV), SEOV causes a more severe form of HFRS. Data from cohort studies undertaken in China and Northern Europe show differences in signs and symptoms at onset of disease, (haemorrhagic) complications and mortality. Furthermore, routine diagnostics currently available for hantavirus diagnosis in the Netherlands are not optimised for SEOV detection. The clinical outcome of an SEOV and PUUV infection will greatly benefit from an early diagnosis which will reduce the costs of unnecessary tests and treatments as well. The discovery of SEOV circulation in the Netherlands follows recent findings of SEOV infections in both rodents and humans in England, Wales, France, Belgium and Sweden, indicating the emerging character of SEOV and a high importance of this hantavirus for Public Health in large areas of Europe. Here, we review the current knowledge on the clinical manifestation of SEOV versus PUUV infections in humans, the treatment of clinical cases and diagnostics.