Hantaviruses pp 153-169 | Cite as

Human Immune Response, Host Genetics, and Severity of Disease

  • O. Vapalahti
  • Å. Lundkvist
  • A. Vaheri
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 256)


Hantavirus infections have an incubation period of approximately 2–4 weeks after transmission and an effective immune response has usually already developed at the onset of symptoms, including high levels of specific antibodies. This makes the diagnostics of hantavirus infections rather straightforward; usually the diagnosis or exclusion of hantavirus infection can be achieved by a single measurement of hantavirus-specific IgM antibodies. However, cross-reactivities (or the lack of them) between hantaviruses should be taken into consideration when choosing the right antigen in a given geographical area, or when interpreting the exact infecting agent. In addition to being helpful for diagnostics, the coinciding onset of symptoms with the immune response together with early presence of various cytokines,inflammation markers, and activated T-cells in peripheral blood and in, e.g., infected lung endothelia, has prompted researchers to seek immunopathogenetic mechanisms for the disease. Such mechanisms are further supported by the association between certain human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes and severity of the hantavirus disease.


Bank Vole Nucleocapsid Protein Hemorrhagic Fever With Renal Syndrome Hantavirus Infection Nephropathia Epidemica 
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

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Vapalahti
    • 1
  • Å. Lundkvist
    • 2
  • A. Vaheri
    • 1
  1. 1.Haartman InstituteUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control and Karolinska IntitutetStockholmSweden

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