Rodent-borne hanta- and arenaviruses are an emerging public health threat in Europe; however, their circulation in human populations is usually underestimated since most infections are asymptomatic. Compared to other European countries, Italy is considered ‘low risk’ for these viruses, yet in the Province of Trento, two pathogenic hantaviruses (Puumala and Dobrava-Belgrade virus) and one arenavirus (Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus) are known to circulate in rodent reservoirs. In this paper, we performed a follow up serological screening in humans to detect variation in the prevalence of these three viruses compared to previous analyses carried out in 2002. We also used a statistical model to link seropositivity to risk factors such as occupational exposure, cutting firewood, hunting, collecting mushrooms, having a garden, and owning a woodshed, a dog or a companion rodent. We demonstrate a significant increase in the seroprevalence of all three target viruses between 2002 and 2015, but no risk factors that we considered were significantly correlated with this increase. We conclude that the general exposure of residents in the Alps to these viruses has probably increased during the last decade. These results provide an early warning to public health authorities, and we suggest more detailed diagnostic and clinical investigations on suspected cases.

Tagliapietra, V.; Rosà, R.; Rossi, C.; Rosso, F.; Hauffe, H.C.; Tommasini, M.; Versini, W.; Cristallo, A.F.; Rizzoli, A. (2018). Emerging rodent-borne viral zoonoses in Trento, Italy. ECOHEALTH, 15 (3): 695-704. doi: 10.1007/s10393-018-1335-4 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/46861

Emerging rodent-borne viral zoonoses in Trento, Italy

Tagliapietra, V.
Primo
;
Rosà, R.;Rossi, C.;Rosso, F.;Hauffe, H. C.;Rizzoli A.
Ultimo
2018-01-01

Abstract

Rodent-borne hanta- and arenaviruses are an emerging public health threat in Europe; however, their circulation in human populations is usually underestimated since most infections are asymptomatic. Compared to other European countries, Italy is considered ‘low risk’ for these viruses, yet in the Province of Trento, two pathogenic hantaviruses (Puumala and Dobrava-Belgrade virus) and one arenavirus (Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus) are known to circulate in rodent reservoirs. In this paper, we performed a follow up serological screening in humans to detect variation in the prevalence of these three viruses compared to previous analyses carried out in 2002. We also used a statistical model to link seropositivity to risk factors such as occupational exposure, cutting firewood, hunting, collecting mushrooms, having a garden, and owning a woodshed, a dog or a companion rodent. We demonstrate a significant increase in the seroprevalence of all three target viruses between 2002 and 2015, but no risk factors that we considered were significantly correlated with this increase. We conclude that the general exposure of residents in the Alps to these viruses has probably increased during the last decade. These results provide an early warning to public health authorities, and we suggest more detailed diagnostic and clinical investigations on suspected cases.
Zoonoses
Hantavirus
LCMV
Risk factors
Serological screening
Early warning
Settore VET/06 - PARASSITOLOGIA E MALATTIE PARASSITARIE DEGLI ANIMALI
Tagliapietra, V.; Rosà, R.; Rossi, C.; Rosso, F.; Hauffe, H.C.; Tommasini, M.; Versini, W.; Cristallo, A.F.; Rizzoli, A. (2018). Emerging rodent-borne viral zoonoses in Trento, Italy. ECOHEALTH, 15 (3): 695-704. doi: 10.1007/s10393-018-1335-4 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/46861
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