Scientists discover new arenavirus associated with hemorrhagic fever

Apr 18, 2008

A team of Bolivian health authorities, U.S. Navy health experts based in Lima, Peru, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized “Chapare arenavirus,” a previously unrecognized arenavirus, discovered in serum samples from a patient in rural Bolivia who eventually died of the infection. A full report of the study is published April 18th in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

Named after the Chapare River in the eastern foothills of the Andes, the new Chapare arenavirus produces clinical hemorrhagic symptoms similar to those associated with other New World arenaviruses, such as the Junin, Machupo, Guanarito, and Sabia viruses. Genetically, however, Chapare is different from each.

Junin, Machupo and Guanarito viruses have been associated with large outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever. Initial symptoms often include fever, malaise, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and anorexia, followed later by hemorrhagic symptoms. Untreated, more severe neurologic and/or hemorrhagic symptoms may develop, and death occurs in up to 30%.

In this study, the authors first tested for yellow fever and dengue hemorrhagic fevers, but results were negative. Tests for Machupo and other related viruses also were negative. Sequence analysis of specific segments of the virus later confirmed it as a unique member of the Clade B New World Arenaviruses.

Due to the remote nature of the region where the case occurred, only a limited description of a possible cluster of cases in the area was determined.

“Further surveillance and ecological investigations should clarify the nature of the health threat posed by the Chapare virus, and give us better information on the source of human infection,” says CDC virologist Tom Ksiazek of the Special Pathogens Branch.

“We need to learn more about this virus: how it is related to the other arenaviruses, how it causes disease, where it lives in nature,” says Ksiazek. “Together with our colleagues in Bolivia and Peru, we’re anticipating a more intensive investigation that improves our understanding of the virus, the disease it causes, and its ecology.”

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: German medics report on drug success for Ebola patient

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Poll: Americans skeptical of commercial drones

37 minutes ago

Americans are skeptical that the benefits of the heralded drone revolution will outweigh the risks to privacy and safety, although a majority approve of using small, unmanned aircraft for dangerous jobs or ...

Warming leads to more run-ins with polar bears

17 minutes ago

Word spread quickly: a polar bear, then two, were spotted near this remote Inuit village on the shores of Hudson Bay, about 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) north of Montreal.

Japanese scientist resigns over stem cell scandal

55 minutes ago

A researcher embroiled in a fabrication scandal that has rocked Japan's scientific establishment said Friday she would resign after failing to reproduce results of what was once billed as a ground-breaking study on ...

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

13 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

13 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

16 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

17 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.