Prognostic Factors in Hantavirus Infections

Kaya S.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.48, no.1, pp.179-187, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.179-187
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


The hantaviruses classified in Hantavirus genus of Bunyaviridae family, may cause two different types of clinical conditions, namely hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Mortality may reach up to 40% in these infections. Hantavirus subtypes (Sin Nombre, Hantaan, Seoul, Puumala, Dobrava, etc) with different virulences represent one of the most significant factors affecting the mortality. Additionally, many other factors including age, gender, humoral immune response, genetic factors, patient's clinical and laboratory findings, transfusion, mechanical ventilation requirement, antiviral treatment and immunotherapy administered to the patient are prognostically important. Increasing age had an unfavorable effect on mortality. While the disease is commonly observed in the male gender, mortality rate is higher in the female gender. The higher the emergent neutralizing antibody response, the virus spread, the number of the infected cells and the cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated injury will be lower. The requirement for dialysis is reported to be higher with a poorer prognosis in individuals with HLA-B8, -DR3, -DQ2 alleles, and those with HLA-B27 allele usually experience a milder clinical course. Clinically, the risk of mortality increases in patients with multiple, central nervous system hemorrhage, sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and secondary infection. The presence of adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the requirement for mechanical ventilation, the presence of dyspnea and hemoconcentration in HPS are reported to be the most important prognostic factors associated with death. The correlation of severity and the transfusion requirement with mortality was demonstrated. High serum levels of white blood cells, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine phophokinase (CPK), C-reactive protein (CRP), prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), D-dimer and INR (International normalized ratio) are prognostic factors that increase the mortality risk. Hemodialysis support is particularly important in cases infected with Hantaan and Dobrava viruses. Respiratory support and mechanical ventilation can be life-saving in HPS cases. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support has been demonstrated to have a favorable contribution to the patient survival in HPS. While there are some human and animal trials showing that ribavirin reduces the severity of HFRS, hemodialysis requirement and mortality, its efficacy for HPS has not yet been demonstrated. As a result, a proper evaluation of the prognostic factors will provide physicians a perspective with respect to the disease course and the necessary treatment approach.