Puumala virus

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Puumala virus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((−)ssRNA)
Order: Bunyavirales
Family: Hantaviridae
Genus: Orthohantavirus
Species: Puumala virus

Puumala virus (PUUV) is a species of orthohantavirus. Humans infected with the virus may develop a haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) known as nephropathia epidemica. Puumala virus HFRS is lethal in less than 0.5% of the cases.[1]

Puumala virus is named after a municipality in Finland. The virus is found predominantly in Scandinavia and Finland, although it has also been reported elsewhere in Northern Europe, Poland and Russia. Because the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) acts as a reservoir for the virus, nephropathia epidemica cases track with the vole population in a three- to four-year cycle. Humans are infected through inhalation of dust from vole droppings.[2]

It has been theorized that Puumala virus, unlike other members of the genus Hantavirus, may also have lethal effects on its rodent host.[3]

In August 2014 was announced the death of an Israeli researcher studying the behavior of the bank vole in Finland. She had been affected by the Puumala virus which caused a complete breakdown of her immune system.[4]

Puumala virus was discovered and named in 1980 by researchers in Finland.[5]


  1. ^ Discertation for doctoral exam; Distribution of Puumalavirus in Sweden Archived 2012-05-07 at the Wayback Machine., by C. Ahlm, second paragraph; latest access 2012-06-04
  2. ^ Rose A, Vapalahti O, Lyytikäinen O, Nuorti P (January 2003). "Patterns of Puumala virus infection in Finland". Euro Surveill. 8 (1): 9–13. PMID 12631978. 
  3. ^ Kallio ER, Voutilainen L, Vapalahti O, Vaheri A, Henttonen H, Koskela E, Mappes T (August 2007). "Endemic hantavirus infection impairs the winter survival of its rodent host". Ecology. 88 (8): 1911–6. doi:10.1890/06-1620.1. PMID 17824420. 
  4. ^ קלנר, ירון (8 July 2014). "קרן חקרה מכרסמים - שגרמו למותה מנגיף אלים" – via Ynet. 
  5. ^ Brummer-Korvenkontio, M.; Vaheri, A.; Hovi, T.; Von Bonsdorff, C. H.; Vuorimies, J.; Manni, T.; Penttinen, K.; Oker-Blom, N.; Lähdevirta, J. (1980). "Nephropathia epidemica: detection of antigen in bank voles and serologic diagnosis of human infection". The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 141 (2): 131–134. doi:10.1093/infdis/141.2.131. PMID 6102587.