Biodefense implications of new-world hantaviruses

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D'Souza, Michael H.
Patel, Trushar R.
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Frontiers Media
Hantaviruses, part of the Bunyaviridae family, are a genus of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses that cause two major diseases: New-World Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome and Old-World Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome. Hantaviruses generally are found worldwide with each disease corresponding to their respective hemispheres. New-World Hantaviruses spread by specific rodent-host reservoirs and are categorized as emerging viruses that pose a threat to global health and security due to their high mortality rate and ease of transmission. Incidentally, reports of Hantavirus categorization as a bioweapon are often contradicted as both US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refer to them as Category A and C bioagents respectively, each retaining qualitative levels of importance and severity. Concerns of Hantavirus being engineered into a novel bioagent has been thwarted by Hantaviruses being difficult to culture, isolate, and purify limiting its ability to be weaponized. However, the natural properties of Hantaviruses pose a threat that can be exploited by conventional and unconventional forces. This review seeks to clarify the categorization of Hantaviruses as a bioweapon, whilst defining the practicality of employing New-World Hantaviruses and their effect on armies, infrastructure, and civilian targets.
Open access article. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) applies
Hantavirus , Sin Nombre Virus , Andes Virus , Biodefense , Viral pandemic , Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome , Transmission
D'Souza, M. H., & Patel, T. R. (2020). Biodefense implications of new-world hantaviruses. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 8, 925,