Volume 44, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Small mammals were trapped during a 21-month period at 27 farm sites in 15 localities within and beyond the known endemic area for Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF). Prevalence of Junin virus (JV) was assessed by antigen-capture enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) on samples of body fluids and/or organs from 3, 282 captured rodents. Infection in rodent populations was variable (0–3.7%) among localities but, in all cases, was lower than previously reported rates. Overall prevalence was 1.4% in the AHF epidemic area, 0.6% in the historic (currently low incidence of AHF) area, and 0.4% in two localities beyond the previously defined endemic area. These low values underestimate the actual prevalence of JV, as ELISA validation by virus isolation indicated a sensitivity of 30% and a specificity of 99%. Of 37 positive rodents, 28 (76%) were of two species: (23 animals) and (5 animals). Antigen also was found in three , four , one , and one , and JV was isolated from two . Three of these rodent species (, and ) have heretofore not been implicated in JV maintenance in the field. Evidence suggests that the AHF endemic area may continue to expand northward.


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