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Spatial and temporal patterns of human Puumala virus (PUUV) infections in Germany.


ABSTRACT: Background:Worldwide, the number of recorded human hantavirus infections as well as the number of affected countries is on the rise. In Europe, most human hantavirus infections are caused by the Puumala virus (PUUV), with bank voles (Myodes glareolus) as reservoir hosts. Generally, infection outbreaks have been related to environmental conditions, particularly climatic conditions, food supply for the reservoir species and land use. However, although attempts have been made, the insufficient availability of environmental data is often hampering accurate temporal and spatially explicit models of human hantavirus infections. Methods:In the present study, dynamics of human PUUV infections between 2001 and 2015 were explored using ArcGIS in order to identify spatio-temporal patterns. Results:Percentage cover of forest area was identified as an important factor for the spatial pattern, whereas beech mast was found explaining temporal patterns of human PUUV infections in Germany. High numbers of infections were recorded in 2007, 2010 and 2012 and areas with highest records were located in Baden-Wuerttemberg (southwest Germany) and North Rhine-Westphalia (western Germany). Conclusion:More reliable data on reservoir host distribution, pathogen verification as well as an increased awareness of physicians are some of the factors that should improve future human infection risk assessments in Germany.

SUBMITTER: Cunze S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5797684 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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