About this Research Topic
Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) are caused by viruses in the genus Orthohantavirus, of the Hantaviridae family, posing a considerable public health problem worldwide. Thrombocytopenia, leucocytosis, increased hematocrit, haematuria, proteinuria, and serum creatinine are important laboratory findings in both HFRS and HPS. Early disease signs are non-specific and thus, clinical findings are not sufficient to diagnose hantavirus infections.
A common feature of hantavirus diseases is an increased microvascular bed permeability, suggesting that vascular endothelium is a prime target of virus infection. Immunopathogenesis has been suggested to be involved in both HFRS and HPS. Although hantaviruses infect numerous cell lines and primary cells, no obvious cytopathic effects have been observed except in 293HEK cells. However, hantaviruses are known to cause apoptosis in some mammalian cells. Monocytes/macrophages also represent important target cells, and likely have an important role in the spread of hantaviruses from the primary site of infection. Both endothelial cells and monocytes/macrophages may act as rich sources of cytokines/chemokines during hantavirus infections and additionally may contribute to the HFRS/HPS immunopathogenesis.
New research approaches have been used to identify the importance of natural killer (NK) cells, B- and T-lymphocytes in the immunopathogenesis of hantaviruses. Numerous rodents are reservoirs of hantaviruses. Knowledge of the identity, diversity, host-pathogen relationships and geographic distribution of reservoirs is important for the prediction of HFRS/HPS outbreaks. Besides, recent reports from Europe and the US described Seoul orthohantavirus infections in pet rats and their breeders/owners, presenting the potential emergence of a "new" public health problem. Serology is the main tool of routine laboratory diagnosis of hantavirus infections; however, new molecular, state-of-the-art technologies are entering the field as well. There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or treatments for HFRS or HPS.
Novel and current research results on hantaviruses will be presented at the 11th International Conference on Hantaviruses in Leuven, Belgium from September 1st to 4th 2019. The conference is focused on several different orthohantavirus research aspects, including: Pathogenesis and Immune Response; Replication and Morphogenesis; Vaccines, Therapeutics, and Prevention; Clinical Aspects and Diagnosis; Virus Phylogeny.
We invite worldwide experts covering presented conference topics to submit their manuscripts to this Research Topic. Different article types will be considered: Original Research, Methods, Reviews, and Mini-Reviews, Perspectives, Brief Research Reports and in the case of some very novel findings, Case Reports and Opinions could also be considered.
Keywords: Orthohantaviruses, Pathogenesis and Immune Response, Virus Biology, Vaccines, Therapeutics and Prevention, Clinical Aspects and Diagnosis, Ecology and Epidemiology
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