Volume 55, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



An environmental and laboratory investigation was conducted after a fatal childhood case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome occurred in Deaf Smith County, Texas in May 1995. A trapping campaign was conducted to identify possible rodent carriers. Six species of murid and heteromyid rodents were collected, and at least one hantavirus-seropositive specimen was found in each of the five murid species. Tissues from a selection of 11 seropositive specimens were examined by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of viral genetic material. The predominant hantavirus was El Moro Canyon virus (ELMCV), which occurred in three of three harvest mice () and in three of four deer mice () examined. Sin Nombre virus (SNV) was found in one deer mouse and one white-footed mouse (). A seropositive house mouse () was negative by PCR. Two cotton rats () were infected by a virus of novel genotype (Muleshoe virus [MULEV]) that bears closest resemblance to Bayou hantavirus. The sequence of the complete small genomic segment was determined for one MULEV, and high-level expression of its nucleocapsid protein was induced in . Serologic studies indicated that the most likely etiologic agent in the human infection was SNV.


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