Isolation of the causative agent of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

L. H. Elliott, T. G. Ksiazek, P. E. Rollin, C. F. Spiropoulou, S. Morzunov, M. Monroe, C. S. Goldsmith, C. D. Humphrey, S. R. Zaki, J. W. Krebs, G. Maupin, K. Gage, J. E. Childs, S. T. Nichol, C. J. Peters

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143 Scopus citations


Investigation of a recent outbreak of acute respiratory illness in the southwestern United States resulted in the recognition of a new disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) with high mortality. Different animals and cell lines were used in attempts to isolate the causative agent. A previously unknown hantavirus was passaged in laboratory-bred deer mice, recovered from lung tissues of a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, and propagated in the E6 clone of Vero cells. Virus antigen was readily detected in the infected cells by an indirect immunofluorescence assay, using convalescent-phase sera from HPS patients. By electron microscopy, the virus was shown to have the typical morphologic features of members of the genus Hantavirus, family Bunyaviridae. Virus sequences corresponded to those previously detected by a nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay of hantavirus-infected specimens from rodents and humans. This newly recognized virus, the etiologic agent of HPS, has been tentatively named Muerto Canyon virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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