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Hantaviruses are rodent-borne RNA viruses within the family Bunyaviridae. They are found worldwide and are associated with two severe disease syndromes; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Asia and Europe, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the Americas. Human infection is usually initiated by inhalation of aerosols of excreta from infected rodents, and can result in high mortality rates. The recent studies reviewed in this volume impart considerable insight into hantavirus replication, pathogenesis and evolution, and provide a basis for understanding the high human pathogenicity of these viruses and their continued maintenance and transmission within the rodent population.
Hantviruses: history and overview.-Replication of hantaviruses.-Hantavirus maturation.-Evolution and genetic diversity of hantaviruses and their rodent hosts.-Modeling hantavirus maintenance and transmission in rodent communities.-Cellular receptors and hantavirus pathogenesis.-Clinical manifestations of new world hantaviruses.-Clinical characteristics of hantavirus infection on the Eurasian continent.-Host genetics, human immune response and severity of disease.-Vaccines.-Subject index