The Discovery Process of SFTS in China
Heightened surveillance of acute febrile illness in China since 2004 led to the identification of a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) with unknown etiology. Sporadic patients hospitalized with SFTS in 2009 and 2010 were identified and serum samples were collected. Sequence from a novel species of phlebovirus was identified by sequence independent single primer amplification (SISPA) from the serum of a patient with SFTS. The virus was isolated in Vero cell culture and its complete genome sequence was determined, only distantly related to other known phleboviruses. Electron microscopic analysis revealed a virion morphologically characteristic of phleboviruses. The virus was named as SFTS virus. The viral RNA and/or specific antibodies were detected from the blood of patients with SFTS. Serological assays demonstrated a virus-specific immune response in pairs of sera collected from patients at acute and convalescent phases. The pathogenic mechanisms of thrombocytopenia in human SFTS disease was resembled in a mouse model. The results had been collected to demonstrate that SFTS virus was etiologically associated with an acute and novel infectious disease, SFTS in humans.
KeywordsSFTS virus Phlebovirus Emerging infectious diseases Reduction of platelets Fever
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