Ecology of hantaviruses and their hosts in North America

James N. Mills, Brian R. Amman, Gregory E. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Since the 1993 discovery of a highly pathogenic hantavirus associated with the North American deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), intensive ecological studies have led to many advances in our understanding of the natural history of New World hantaviruses as it relates to human disease. Seventeen named hantaviruses have been identified in North America. Field and laboratory studies of Sin Nombre and other hantaviruses have delineated host associations, geographical distributions, mechanisms of transmission, temporal infection dynamics of these viruses in host populations, and environmental factors that influence these dynamics. Using data from these studies, preliminary predictive models of the risk of hantavirus infection to humans have been developed. Improved models using satellite-derived data are under development. Multidisciplinary collaboration, integration of field and laboratory studies, and establishment and maintenance of long-term monitoring studies will be critical to continued advancement in the understanding of hantavirus-host ecology and disease prevention in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-574
Number of pages12
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Ecology
  • Hantavirus
  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • North America
  • Predictive models
  • Reservoir
  • Rodents
  • Sin Nombre virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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