Acute Hantavirus Nephropathy in Belgium : Preliminary Results of a Sero-Epidemiological Study

  • J. Clement
  • G. van der Groen
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 212)


Hantavirus (HV) has recently been recognized as a cause of acute renal failure (ARF) in different countries of Europe, particularly in Belgium and France. This disease (HV-disease), hitherto unknown to the Western world, is marked by aspecific viral symptoms and minor thrombocytopenia at the onset, followed by a variable degree of ARF, most often with a self-limiting course of 2 to 6 weeks. This so-called HV-nephropathy is characterized by severe loin pain, oliguria, a heavy but transient proteinuria, and mostly a minor hematuria. On renal biopsy, acute interstitial nephritis with minimal glomerular hypercellurarity is found, whereas immunofluorescence shows no or very few and aspecific immuno­deposits. In the European patients, very faint or no hemorrhagic symptoms seem to appear, and the overall mortality is lower than 1 %. This is in contrast to the hemorrhagic forms with high mortality ( up to 20 %) in the Far East, where the disease was known for a long time under various denominations and had been considered as a viral “hemorrhagic fever”. Transmission of the virus occurs through exposure to infected rodents, probably by inhalation of contaminated aerosols ( droplets of urine and/or saliva from apparently healthy rodents, who act as carriers). Diagnosis can only be ascertained by specific anti-HV serology. In this paper, we want to give an historical background of this “new” disease and illustrate it with 2 case-reports and the first preliminary results of a sero-epidemiological study in Belgium.


Bank Vole Hemorrhagic Fever Hemorrhagic Fever With Renal Syndrome Acute Interstitial Nephritis Continuous Cell Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Clement
    • 1
  • G. van der Groen
    • 2
  1. 1.Military Hospital BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of Tropical Medicine AntwerpBelgium

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