Rodent-borne viruses in French Guiana Volume 21, issue 3, Mai-Juin 2017


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1 Laboratoire des Interactions virus-hôtes,
Institut Pasteur de la Guyane,
23 avenue Pasteur,
BP 6010, 97306 Cayenne cedex,
French Guiana
2 Laboratoire de Virologie,
CNR Hantavirus Laboratoire associé,
Institut Pasteur de la Guyane, Cayenne,
French Guiana
3 Institut des Sciences de l’évolution,
Université de Montpellier,
* Corresponding author

Among mammals, rodents play a key role in the emergence of viral diseases. In French Guiana, with 36 rodent species recorded in various ecosystems (pristine forests, savannas, anthropized environments), some natural habitats today encounter anthropogenic perturbations that induce changes in community structure and population dynamics. These modifications are sometimes associated with the circulation and emergence of viral pathogens. For 10 years, investigations on the circulation of two rodent-borne viruses, Hantavirus and Mammarenavirus, are underway in rodent populations as well as in humans for hantavirus. These investigations identified viruses from both genera in their potential reservoirs and allow describing the most favourable habitats for the reservoirs of hantavirus where the risk of viral emergence may be higher. We suggest to investigate how anthropic perturbations in rodent communities can drive the emergence of viruses that are currently confined to a small scale and search for evidence of infection in the human population.