It is unclear how the hantaviruses are transferred from infected to uninfected rodents. We studied the status of persistently infected laboratory mice and examined the frequency of viral transmission to their offspring. Expression of Hantaan virus nucleocapsid protein was detected in the lungs of persistently infected dams. None of the progeny displayed viral antigen, although they were strongly positive for IgG antibodies against hantavirus. There was neither hantavirus RNA nor virus-specific IgM antibodies or virus-specific CD8 + T cells in the progeny. These results did not show any indication for a vertical transmission of hantaviruses, at least in the laboratory mouse model studied.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2008
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