have resulted from an abundance of pine nuts in the area dur-
SIVrcm (red-capped mangabey)
ing a good growing year, leading the local people to harvest
larger amounts of these than usual and store them in their
homes when their normal storage areas became full. With
abundant food available, the rodent population exploded and
invaded homes to get to the pine nuts, and it is thought that
this more intimate contact between humans and rodents may
have led to the epidemic. The hantavirus responsible for this
epidemic is now called Sin Nombre virus, which is Spanish
for "without a name." Early suggestions that it be called Four
SIVcpz (chimpanzee/HIV-1)
Corners virus or Muerto Canyon virus (after a geographical
feature in the area) drew objections from local residents who
did not want this major tourist area identified with a fatal
disease. Eventually the CDC simply named it Sin Nombre
(there is a small creek in the area called the Sin Nombre
River that serves as justification for the choice of name).
With the discovery of Sin Nombre virus, searches for
viruses in other regions of North America resulted in the iso-
lation of many viruses related to Sin Nombre. These viruses
are associated with other rodents in the order Sigmodontinae
and have been given names of local features in order to
distinguish them. These include New York, Monongahela,
Bayou, and Black Creek Canal viruses, all of which have
caused HPS in the United States (see Fig. 4.26). Related
viruses are also found in Latin America. In fact, studies have
now shown that hantaviruses are present in virtually all states
FIGURE 8.13  Diagram of the recombinant origin of SIVcpz. The various
within the United States and into Latin America, and that
genes of SIV in red-capped mangabeys are shown at the top, outlined in
fatalities due to infection by the virus have occurred in most
magenta. Similarly the genome of SIVgsn (greater spot-nosed)/SIVmus
states. Retrospective studies of stored sera collected from
(mustached)/SIV mon (mona) monkeys is shown at the bottom, outlined
patients who died of ARDS in the past have identified earlier
in blue. In the recombinant genome of chimpanzee/HIV-1 (center), SIVcpz
cases of HPS. Thus these viruses are widespread and have
genes derived from SIVrcm are magenta, genes from SIVgsn are in blue,
and genes of unknown origin are in gray. Adapted from Figure 4 in Sharp
caused many fatal cases of human disease over the years.
et al. (2005).
As noted in Chapter 4, the epidemiology of arenavi-
ruses is similar to that of the hantaviruses. Several South
American arenaviruses have caused increasing numbers
of cases of human hemorrhagic fever because of increased
excreta. The first hantavirus to come to medical attention
contact between humans and the rodent carriers of the
was Hantaan virus which caused more than 3000 cases of
viruses. The development of the Pampas of Argentina, in
hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in U.S. troops dur-
particular, led to increased incidence of human arenavirus
ing the Korean War. Since then, many hantaviruses have been
identified in both the Old World and in the Americas that
cause serious human illness. They are examples of emerg-
ing viruses because as the number of humans increases and
as they invade more habitat occupied by rodents carrying
hantaviruses, the incidence of infection in humans has risen.
Emerging Viral Zoonoses
Very interesting in this regard was the isolation, in May 1993,
of a new hantavirus that causes acute respiratory distress in
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humans that can lead to rapid death, a syndrome now called
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of the southwestern United States that resulted in approxi-
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Bats and Viruses
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