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Climate Variability and the Occurrence of Human Puumala Hantavirus Infections in Europe: A Systematic Review
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9722-0370
2015 (English)In: Zoonoses and Public Health, ISSN 1863-1959, E-ISSN 1863-2378, Vol. 62, no 6, 465-478 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hantaviruses are distributed worldwide and are transmitted by rodents. In Europe, the infection usually manifests as a mild form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) known as nephropathia epidemica (NE), which is triggered by the virus species Puumala. Its host is the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In the context of climate change, interest in the role of climatic factors for the disease has increased. A systematic review was conducted to investigate the association between climate variability and the occurrence of human Puumala hantavirus infections in Europe. We performed a literature search in the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science. Studies that investigated Puumala virus infection and climatic factors in any European country with a minimum collection period of 2 years were included. The selection of abstracts and the evaluation of included studies were performed by two independent reviewers. A total of 434 titles were identified in the databases, of which nine studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The majority of studies were conducted in central Europe (Belgium, France and Germany), while only two came from the north (Sweden) and one from the south (Bosnia). Strong evidence was found for a positive association between temperature and NE incidence in central Europe, while the evidence for northern Europe so far appears insufficient. Results regarding precipitation were contradictory. Overall, the complex relationships between climate and hantavirus infections need further exploration to identify specific health risks and initiate appropriate intervention measures in the context of climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 62, no 6, 465-478 p.
Keyword [en]
Puumala virus,  climate variability,  temperature,  precipitation,  nephropathia epidemica,  haemorrhagic fever renal syndrome
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-98112DOI: 10.1111/zph.12175ISI: 000359372700007PubMedID: 25557350OAI: diva2:781776
Available from: 2015-01-19 Created: 2015-01-19 Last updated: 2015-10-13Bibliographically approved

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