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: Two US states order tough Ebola quarantine rules

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia turns back clocks to permanent Winter Time

3 hours ago

Russia on Sunday is set to turn back its clocks to winter time permanently in a move backed by President Vladimir Putin, reversing a three-year experiment with non-stop summer time that proved highly unpopular.

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

3 hours ago

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact.

Microsoft beefs up security protection in Windows 10

8 hours ago

What Microsoft users in business care deeply about—-a system architecture that supports efforts to get their work done efficiently; a work-centric menu to quickly access projects rather than weather readings ...

US official: Auto safety agency under review

21 hours ago

Transportation officials are reviewing the "safety culture" of the U.S. agency that oversees auto recalls, a senior Obama administration official said Friday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been criticized ...

Recommended for you

Two US states order tough Ebola quarantine rules

3 hours ago

New York and New Jersey on Friday ordered a mandatory quarantine for medics who treated victims of Ebola in West Africa, after the deadly virus spread to America's largest city.

NY and NJ say they will require Ebola quarantines

21 hours ago

The governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other arriving travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.

User comments : 0