Serological and genetic evidence for the presence of Seoul hantavirus in Rattus norvegicus in Flanders, Belgium
Heyman, Paul × Baert, Kasper Plyusnina, A Cochez, C Lundkvist, A Esbroeck, M Van Goossens, E Vandenvelde, C Plyusnin, A Stuyck, Jos #
Scandinavian journal of infectious diseases vol:41 issue:1 pages:51-6
Seoul hantavirus (SEOV), carried by Rattus rattus (black rat) and R. norvegicus (Norway, brown rat), was reported to circulate as well as cause HFRS cases in Asia. As Rattus sp. are present worldwide, SEOV has the potential to cause human disease worldwide. In Europe however, only SEOV prevalence in rats from France was reported and no confirmed cases of SEOV infection were published. We here report genetic and serological evidence for the presence of SEOV virus in brown rat populations in Belgium. We also serologically screened an at-risk group that was in contact with R. norvegicus on a daily basis and found no evidence for SEOV infection.