Volume 57, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Human hantavirus disease occurs throughout much of South America. The rodent hosts and the specific etiologic agent(s) are largely unknown, but many reported cases occurred within the habitation ranges of oryzomine rodents (rice rats). We have identified a genetically novel hantavirus (Rio Mamore virus [RM]) of the pygmy rice rat in Bolivia. The complete sequence of the small (S) genome and the partial sequence of the medium (M) genome are described. This virus is closely related to the newly identified human pathogen Andes virus from Patagonia. To facilitate improved diagnosis of hantavirus infections in South America, we have expressed the complete nucleocapsid protein of RM in and affinity-purified it for use in an ELISA and Western blot assays for antibodies to RM.


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