Volume 92, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Heartland virus (HRTV; Bunyaviridae: ) has recently emerged as a causative agent of human disease characterized by thrombocytopenia and leukopenia in the United States. The lone star tick ( L.) has been implicated as a vector. To identify candidate vertebrate amplification hosts associated with enzootic maintenance of the virus, sera and ticks were sampled from 160 mammals (8 species) and 139 birds (26 species) captured near 2 human case residences in Andrew and Nodaway Counties in northwest Missouri. HRTV-specific neutralizing antibodies were identified in northern raccoons (42.6%), horses (17.4%), white-tailed deer (14.3%), dogs (7.7%), and Virginia opossums (3.8%), but not in birds. Virus isolation attempts from sera and ticks failed to detect HRTV. The high antibody prevalence coupled with local abundance of white-tailed deer and raccoons identifies these species as candidate amplification hosts.


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  • Received : 05 Nov 2014
  • Accepted : 04 Mar 2015
  • Published online : 03 Jun 2015

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