Hantaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses of the Bunyaviridae family, widespread and strictly associated with their serotype-specific reservoir hosts. They cause HFRS in Europe and Asia and lead to Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in America. The severity of the disease depends on the infecting virotype with case fatality rates from 0.1% - 10% for HFRS and 25% - 35% for HCPS. HFRS is caused by Hantaan virus and the closely related Dobrava virus as well as Seoul and Puumala virus.
Hantaan virus is endemic in Asia, the closely related Dobrava virus serotype is found in Europe. Hosts for both viruses are rodents of the Apodemus genus. In Germany, the predominant serotype is Puumala, hosts are bank voles (Myodes glareolus). Occurrence of Dobrava virus infections in Central Europe is insignificant, while increased to predominant distribution is found in Eastern and Southern Europe and the Balkans.
Carriers of the Hantavirus are rodents, transmission to humans occurs via inhalation of virus-containing particles from excretions of host animals or through direct contact. People at high risk are predominantly hunters, lumbermen, soldiers, joggers, campers and gardeners.
The Progen Biotechnik Hantavirus Product Group of diagnostics assays comprises: