Volume 78, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) is a frequently fatal viral disease transmitted through rodent secretions and excretions. Working around deer mice can increase risk of infection. This study assessed potential risk of HCPS at facilities occupied by the US Forest Service (USFS) in California. In 2004–2005, 18 USFS facilities in eight National Forests in California were evaluated for evidence of rodent infestation and circulation of hantavirus. Structural deficiencies and evidence of rodent infestation were observed at 18 facilities. Serum antibodies to hantavirus were detected in 50 of 255 deer mice collected from 15 facilities. Seroprevalence was higher at elevations > 1,600 m (22%). Employees at 14 facilities had received training in rodent-borne disease prevention. Risk of HCPS among USFS employees should motivate inclusion of disease prevention information into employee safety training.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF, Morzunov S, Rollin PE, Ksiazek TG, Feldmann H, Sanchez A, Childs J, Zaki S, Peters CJ, 1993. Genetic identification of a hantavirus associated with an outbreak of acute respiratory illness. Science 262 : 914–917. [Google Scholar]
  2. Childs JE, Ksiazek TG, Spiropoulou CF, Krebs JW, Morzunov S, Maupin GO, Gage KL, Rollin PE, Sarisky J, Enscore RE, 1994. Serologic and genetic identification of Peromyscus maniculatus as the primary rodent reservoir for a new hantavirus in the southwestern United States. J Infect Dis 169 : 1271–1280. [Google Scholar]
  3. Armstrong LR, Zaki SR, Goldoft MJ, Todd RL, Khan AS, Khabbaz RF, Ksiazek TG, Peters CJ, 1995. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome associated with entering or cleaning rarely used, rodent-infested structures. J Infect Dis 172 : 1166. [Google Scholar]
  4. Zeitz PS, Butler JC, Cheek JE, Samuel MC, Childs JE, Shands LA, Turner RE, Voorhees RE, Sarisky J, Rollin PE, 1995. A case-control study of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome during an outbreak in the southwestern United States. J Infect Dis 171 : 864–870. [Google Scholar]
  5. Fulhorst CF, Milazzo ML, Armstrong LR, Childs JE, Rollin PE, Khabbaz R, Ksiazek TG, 2007. Hantavirus and arenavirus antibodies in persons with occupational rodent exposure, North America. Emerg Infect Dis 13 : 532–538. [Google Scholar]
  6. Fritz CL, Fulhorst CF, Enge B, Winthrop KL, Glaser CA, Vugia DJ, 2002. Exposure to rodents and rodent-borne viruses among persons with elevated occupational risk. J Occup Environ Med 44 : 962–967. [Google Scholar]
  7. Vitek CR, Ksiazek TG, Peters CJ, Breiman RF, 1996. Evidence against infection with hantaviruses among forest and park workers in the southwestern United States. Clin Infect Dis 23 : 283–285. [Google Scholar]
  8. Zeitz PS, Graber JM, Voorhees RA, Kioski C, Shands LA, Ksiazek TG, Jenison S, Khabbaz RF, 1997. Assessment of occupational risk for hantavirus infection in Arizona and New Mexico. J Occup Environ Med 39 : 463–467. [Google Scholar]
  9. Jay M, Ascher MS, Chomel BB, Madon M, Sesline D, Enge BA, Hjelle B, Ksiazek TG, Rollin PE, Kass PH, Reilly K, 1997. Seroepidemiologic studies of hantavirus infection among wild rodents in California. Emerg Infect Dis 3 : 183–190. [Google Scholar]
  10. Weigler BJ, Ksiazek TG, Vandenbergh JG, Levin M, Sullivan WT, 1996. Serological evidence for zoonotic hantaviruses in North Carolina rodents. J Wildl Dis 32 : 354–357. [Google Scholar]
  11. White DJ, Means RG, Birkhead GS, Bosler EM, Grady LJ, Chatterjee N, Woodall J, Hjelle B, Rollin PE, Ksiazek TG, Morse DL, 1996. Human and rodent hantavirus infection in New York State: public health significance of an emerging infectious disease. Arch Intern Med 156 : 722–726. [Google Scholar]
  12. Seijo A, Pini N, Levis S, Coto H, Deodato B, Cernigoi B, De BD, Enria D, 2003. Study of Hantavirus seoul in a human and rodent population from a marginal area in Buenos Aires City. Medicina (B Aires) 63 : 193–196. [Google Scholar]
  13. Lledo L, Gegundez MI, Saz JV, Beltran M, 2004. [Seroprevalence of antibodies to Seoul virus in occupational risk groups]. Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin 22 : 217–219. [Google Scholar]
  14. Ahlm C, Linderholm M, Juto P, Stegmayr B, Settergren B, 1994. Prevalence of serum IgG antibodies to Puumala virus (haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) in northern Sweden. Epidemiol Infect 113 : 129–136. [Google Scholar]
  15. Moll van Charante AW, Groen J, Mulder PG, Rijpkema SG, Osterhaus AD, 1998. Occupational risks of zoonotic infections in Dutch forestry workers and muskrat catchers. Eur J Epidemiol 14 : 109–116. [Google Scholar]
  16. Nuti M, Amaddeo D, Autorino GL, Crovatto M, Crucil C, Ghionni A, Giommi M, Salvati F, Santini GF, 1992. Seroprevalence of antibodies to hantaviruses and leptospires in selected Italian population groups. Eur J Epidemiol 8 : 98–102. [Google Scholar]
  17. Traavik T, Sommer AI, Mehl R, Berdal BP, Stavem K, Hunderi OH, Dalrymple JM, 1984. Nephropathia epidemica in Norway: antigen and antibodies in rodent reservoirs and antibodies in selected human populations. J Hyg (Lond) 93 : 139–146. [Google Scholar]
  18. Zoller L, Faulde M, Meisel H, Ruh B, Kimmig P, Schelling U, Zeier M, Kulzer P, Becker C, Roggendorf M, 1995. Seroprevalence of hantavirus antibodies in Germany as determined by a new recombinant enzyme immunoassay. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 14 : 305–313. [Google Scholar]
  19. Feldmann H, Sanchez A, Morzunov S, Spiropoulou CF, Rollin PE, Ksiazek TG, Peters CJ, Nichol ST, 1993. Utilization of autopsy RNA for the synthesis of the nucleocapsid antigen of a newly recognized virus associated with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Virus Res 30 : 351–367. [Google Scholar]
  20. Mills JN, 1999. Statement on hantavirus exposure at National Parks. Testimony before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands of the House Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives; June 29, 1999. Available at: http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t990629c.html. Accessed June 20, 2007.
  21. Ecke R. Hantavirus kills sixth Montanan. Great Falls Tribune. April 1, 2004.
  22. Jones C, McShea WJ, Conroy MJ, Kunz TH, 1996. Capturing mammals. Wilson DE, Cole FR, Nichols JD, Rudran R, Foster MS, eds. Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity: Standard Methods for Mammals. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 115–122.
  23. Douglass RJ, Wilson T, Semmens WJ, Zanto SN, Bond CW, Van Horn RC, Mills JN, 2001. Longitudinal studies of Sin Nombre virus in deer mouse-dominated ecosystems of Montana. Am J Trop Med Hyg 65 : 33–41. [Google Scholar]
  24. Glass GE, Yates TL, Fine JB, Shields TM, Kendall JB, Hope AG, Parmenter CA, Peters CJ, Ksiazek TG, Li CS, Patz JA, Mills JN, 2002. Satellite imagery characterizes local animal reservoir populations of Sin Nombre virus in the southwestern United States. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99 : 16817–16822. [Google Scholar]
  25. Mills JN, Johnson JM, Ksiazek TG, Ellis BA, Rollin PE, Yates TL, Mann MO, Johnson MR, Campbell ML, Miyashiro J, Patrick M, Zyzak M, Lavender D, Novak MG, Schmidt K, Peters CJ, Childs JE, 1998. A survey of hantavirus antibody in small-mammal populations in selected United States National Parks. Am J Trop Med Hyg 58 : 525–532. [Google Scholar]
  26. Calisher CH, Root JJ, Mills JN, Beaty BJ, 2002. Assessment of ecologic and biologic factors leading to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Colorado, U.S.A. Croat Med J 43 : 330–337. [Google Scholar]
  27. Mills JN, Ksiazek TG, Peters CJ, Childs JE, 1999. Long-term studies of hantavirus reservoir populations in the southwestern United States: a synthesis. Emerg Infect Dis 5 : 135–142. [Google Scholar]
  28. Boone JD, Otteson EW, McGwire KC, Villard P, Rowe JE, St Jeor SC, 1998. Ecology and demographics of hantavirus infections in rodent populations in the Walker River Basin of Nevada and California. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59 : 445–451. [Google Scholar]
  29. Bernshtein AD, Apekina NS, Mikhailova TV, Myasnikov YA, Khlyap LA, Korotkov YS, Gavrilovskaya IN, 1999. Dynamics of Puumala hantavirus infection in naturally infected bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). Arch Virol 144 : 2415–2428. [Google Scholar]
  30. Yanagihara R, Amyx HL, Gajdusek DC, 1985. Experimental infection with Puumala virus, the etiologic agent of nephropathia epidemica, in bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus). J Virol 55 : 34–38. [Google Scholar]
  31. Hutchinson KL, Rollin PE, Peters CJ, 1998. Pathogenesis of a North American hantavirus, Black Creek Canal virus, in experimentally infected Sigmodon hispidus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59 : 58–65. [Google Scholar]
  32. Hjelle B, Torrez-Martinez N, Koster FT, Jay M, Ascher MS, Brown T, Reynolds P, Ettestad P, Voorhees RE, Sarisky J, Enscore RE, Sands L, Mosley DG, Kioski C, Bryan RT, Sewell CM, 1996. Epidemiologic linkage of rodent and human hantavirus genomic sequences in case investigations of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. J Infect Dis 173 : 781–786. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 20 Aug 2007
  • Accepted : 23 Oct 2007

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error