Hantavirus Publications



Monitoring Killer Mice from Space. University News Center. By Lee J. Siegel.

Published: February 15, 2011.


Coloring the Mice to Trace a Potential Virus. New York Times. By Henry Fountain.

Published: January 12, 2009.


Big, Old Mice Spread Hantavirus: Bright Powder, Radio Tags ID Disease-Transmitting Rodents. University News Center. By Lee J. Siegel.

Published: January 6, 2009.

U of U Campus View

Disease Ecology: Factors Affecting the Dynamics of Sin Nombre Hantavirus

A component of my research program applies ecological approaches in addressing how transmission of a virus (Sin Nombre Hantavirus) is impacted by habitat disturbance. The primary reservoir of Hantavirus is the deermouse (Peromyscus maniculatus); when this virus is transmitted to humans it causes severe pulmonary disease with high mortality. Our preliminary data suggest that human alteration of habitat increases prevalence of Hantavirus in deermice and may lead to emergence of Hantavirus in other rodent species. At a highly disturbed site in Utah, the prevalence of Hantavirus in deermice was consistently three times greater than that found by other researchers working in less disturbed habitats.

We are also examining how species diversity impacts disease prevalence. We have documented the presence of Hantavirus in two additional species of rodents. One of these species (desert woodrat, Neotoma lepida) was not previously considered a competent host for Hantavirus because woodrats are not closely related to the traditional vector, the deermouse.