Diagnosis and Treatment of Hantavirus Infection
Diagnosis of Hantavirus
Pulmonary Syndrome is most frequently made based on appropriate
clinical signs and positive serology. A CBC that
bandemia, thrombocytopenia and presence of atypical lymphocytes in a
person with pulmonary edema is highly suggestive of Hantavirus
Diagnosis is more difficult early in the disease,
because flu-like symptoms are consistent with many fevers of viral
origin. Diagnosis can also be made by
demonstrating viral antigen in body fluids or tissues.
Methods available for detection of Hantavirus antigens
and host antibody response
Antigen detection -
Isolation of whole virus from humans has not yet been achieved (25)
- ELISA - detection of antigen in urine or serum
- Immunohistochemistry (IHC) - biopsy specimens
- Reverse Transcriptase PCR - only for research
purposes due to frequency of cross-contamination
presence of Hantavirus-specific IgM, or
a four-fold or greater
IgG titers between acute and convalescing sera (25)
- Antibody capture ELISA
- Single Radial Hemolysis
|Histologic section of lung from a patient
that died of HPS. Immunohistochemistry has been used to
(red-brown) in the alveolar capillary walls.
There is no specific
for Hantavirus infection, so health professionals can only provide
supportive care such as fluid administration and frequent monitoring.
in severe respiratory
distress are intubated and put on a oxygen via a ventilator.
treatment appears to result in a better
outcome, so persons experiencing
muscle pain, fever and difficulty breathing, especially if they have
had prior rodent
exposure, should seek medical attention immediately. People
that do not seek treatment until they
are in full-blown respiratory distress tend to have a poorer prognosis.