The emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases are increasing in Europe. Prominent rodent-borne zoonotic viruses include Puumala hantavirus (PUUV; the causative agent of nephropathia epidemica, NE), lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), and orthopoxviruses (OPV). In addition, Ljungan virus (LV) is considered a potentially zoonotic virus.
The aim of this study was to compare clinical picture between acute PUUV patients with and without additional rodent-borne viral infections, to investigate if concurrent infections influence disease severity.
We evaluated seroprevalence of and seroconversions to LCMV, LV and OPV in 116 patients hospitalized for NE. Clinical and laboratory variables were closely monitored during hospital care.
A total of five LCMV, 15 LV, and one OPV seroconversions occurred. NE patients with LCMV seroconversions were younger, and had lower plasma creatinine concentrations and platelet counts than patients without LCMV seroconversions. No differences occurred in clinical or laboratory findings between patients with and without seroconversions to LV and OPV. We report, for the first time, LCMV seroprevalence in Finland, with 8.5% of NE patients seropositive for this virus. Seroprevalences for LV and OPV were 47.8% and 32.4%, respectively.
Cases with LCMV seroconversions were statistically younger, had milder acute kidney injury and more severe thrombocytopenia than patients without LCMV. However, the low number of seroconversion cases precludes firm conclusions. Concurrent LV or OPV infections do not appear to influence clinical picture for NE patients.