N Pini

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Maryland, United States

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Publications (22)77.64 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We use a Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) approach along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques to examine the potential distribution of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) caused by Andes virus (ANDV) in southern Argentina and, more precisely, define and estimate the area with the highest infection probability for humans, through the combination with the distribution map for the competent rodent host (Oligoryzomys longicaudatus). Sites with confirmed cases of HPS in the period 1995-2009 were mostly concentrated in a narrow strip (~90 km × 900 km) along the Andes range from northern Neuquén to central Chubut province. This area is characterized by high mean annual precipitation (~1,000 mm on average), but dry summers (less than 100 mm), very low percentages of bare soil (~10% on average) and low temperatures in the coldest month (minimum average temperature -1.5 °C), as compared to the HPS-free areas, features that coincide with sub-Antarctic forests and shrublands (especially those dominated by the invasive plant Rosa rubiginosa), where rodent host abundances and ANDV prevalences are known to be the highest. Through the combination of predictive distribution maps of the reservoir host and disease cases, we found that the area with the highest probability for HPS to occur overlaps only 28% with the most suitable habitat for O. longicaudatus. With this approach, we made a step forward in the understanding of the risk factors that need to be considered in the forecasting and mapping of risk at the regional/national scale. We propose the implementation and use of thematic maps, such as the one built here, as a basic tool allowing public health authorities to focus surveillance efforts and normally scarce resources for prevention and control actions in vast areas like southern Argentina. Fulltext PDF: http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/6/1/201
    Viruses 01/2014; 6(1):201-22. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We tested sera from 286 agricultural workers and 322 rodents in the department of Córdoba, northeastern Colombia, for antibodies against two hantaviruses. The sera were analysed by indirect ELISA using the lysate of Vero E6 cells infected with Maciel virus (MACV) or the N protein of Araraquara virus (ARAV) as antigens for the detection of antibodies against hantaviruses. Twenty-four human sera were IgG positive using one or both antigens. We detected anti-MACV IgG antibodies in 10 sera (3.5%) and anti-ARAV antibodies in 21 sera (7.34%). Of the 10 samples that were positive for MACV, seven (70%) were cross-reactive with ARAV; seven of the 21 ARAV-positive samples were cross-reactive with MACV. Using an ARAV IgM ELISA, two of the 24 human sera (8.4%) were positive. We captured 322 rodents, including 210 Cricetidae (181 Zygodontomys brevicauda, 28 Oligoryzomys fulvescens and 1 Oecomys trinitatis), six Heteromys anomalus (Heteromyidae), one Proechimys sp. (Echimyidae) and 105 Muridae (34 Rattus rattus and 71 Mus musculus). All rodent sera were negative for both antigens. The 8.4% detection rate of hantavirus antibodies in humans is much higher than previously found in serosurveys in North America, suggesting that rural agricultural workers in northeastern Colombia are frequently exposed to hantaviruses. Our results also indicate that tests conducted with South American hantavirus antigens could have predictive value and could represent a useful alternative for the diagnosis of hantavirus infection in Colombia.
    Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 04/2013; 108(2):167-71. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined population density of Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (colilargo) and prevalence of Andes virus (ANDV) antibody at regional and landscape spatial scales in northwestern Chubut Province (Argentina) and contrasted it with climatic variables recorded by meteorologic stations near the study area. Mice were trapped in late summer—early fall (March—April) for 3 years (2007—2009). The composition of the rodent assemblage and species representation in the community varied among years, regions (forest, ecotone, and steppe), and landscape units (Nothofagus and Austrocedrus forests, sweet briar shrublands, and without sweet briar shrublands). Colilargos occurred in all regions and landscape units within the study area, from dense forest to open habitats such as steppe. The species dominated the rodent assemblages of ecotone and forest at a regional scale and the assemblages in sweet briar shrublands and Austrocedrus forests at a landscape scale. Abundance of colilargos also varied among periods, regions, and landscape units. Antibodies to ANDV were found in all regions but not in every landscape unit. Thus there is a potential for human hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) cases to occur not only in forests and shrublands, but also in steppe. At a landscape scale, Nothofagus forests appeared to pose a higher risk than Austrocedrus in wet years, because colilargo abundance and ANDV antibody prevalence were significantly greater. Within ecotone, sweet briar shrublands posed greater risk than habitats without sweet briar. Sweet briar shrublands were the landscape unit with the highest colilargo abundances during the driest periods. Sweet briar shrublands may play an important role in HPS dynamics, and should be considered when designing prevention policies. Nuestro objetivo fue examinar la densidad poblacional de Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (colilargo) y la prevalencia de virus Andes (ANDV) a escala regional y de paisaje en el noroeste de la provincia de Chubut, Argentina. Los muestreos se llevaron a cabo durante el verano tardío—otoño temprano (Marzo—Abril) por un período de 3 años (2007 a 2009). La composición de la comunidad de roedores y la representación de cada especie en la misma varió entre años, regiones (bosque, ecotono y estepa) y unidades de paisaje (bosques de Nothofagus y de Austrocedrus, matorrales de rosa mosqueta y matorrales sin rosa mosqueta). O. longicaudatus fue encontrado en todas las regiones y unidades de paisaje del área de estudio. Esta especie dominó los ensambles de roedores de bosques y ecotono a escala regional y los ensambles de los matorrales de rosa mosqueta y bosques de Austrocedrus a escala de paisaje. La abundancia de colilargos varió entre períodos, regiones y unidades de paisaje. Se detectaron anticuerpos contra ANDV en todas las regiones, pero no en todas las unidades de paisaje. Por lo tanto, el riesgo de enfermedad en humanos existe no sólo en bosque y ecotono, sino también en estepa. Además, a escala de paisaje, los bosques de Nothofagus parecieron implicar un mayor riesgo que los de Austrocedrus en años húmedos, ya que las abundancias de colilargos y la prevalencia de ANDV fueron significativamente mayores en los primeros. Dentro del ecotono, los matorrales de rosa mosqueta significaron un mayor riesgo que los matorrales sin rosa mosqueta. Los primeros constituyeron la unidad de paisaje con las mayores abundancias de colilargos durante los períodos secos. Estos matorrales podrían tener un papel importante en la dinámica del Síndrome Pulmonar por Hantavirus y debieran ser considerados a la hora de diseñar medidas de prevención.
    Journal of Mammalogy 12/2012; 93(6):1559-1568. · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To the Editor: The approximately 20 recognized arenaviruses in the Americas are hosted by rodents of the family Cricetidae; 1 exception may be hosted by a bat (genus Artibeus, family Phyllostomidae) (1). Pichindé virus, hosted by Oryzomys albigularis, was described from animals in the Pichindé Valley near Cali, Colombia (2), and antibody reactive to Pichindé virus was found in 2 of 82 serum samples from humans in the same area. No studies of arenavirus infection in rodents or humans have been conducted in Colombia since 1971. Although Pichindé virus is not associated with human disease, Guanarito virus, which is hosted by Zygodontomys brevicauda, the short-tailed cane mouse (3,4), causes Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever in the Venezuelan state of Portuguesa (5). This state borders on Colombia, and Z. brevicauda is a common species in Caribbean Colombia. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of antibody to arenaviruses among wild rodents in this region.
    Emerging Infectious Diseases 07/2011; 17(7):1315-7. · 6.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Andes virus (AND) is a hantavirus hosted by the sigmodontine rodent Oligoryzomys longicaudatus in southern Argentina, where it is responsible for most cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Our study provides data about the spatial variation in abundance of the rodent host of AND hantavirus. We report results of a longitudinal study performed in a locality of the Andean region of Chubut Province. From November 2003 (spring) to July 2006 (winter), O. longicaudatus was the most common species captured (63%) and it showed significant differences in abundance among habitats and seasons. Most antibody-positive rodents were O. longicaudatus (9.2%), followed by A. longipilis (3.6%) and A. olivaceus (1.5%). The highest number of antibody-positive animals was observed for males that belonged to the heaviest mass classes. Antibody-positive O. longicaudatus were more abundant in brush habitats. We found low richness of rodents and abundance of O. longicaudatus in areas affected by anthropogenic activity. The infection seems to be regionally persistent, but the risk to humans in a landscape would be localized. To develop accurate models for predicting HPS outbreaks, further research is needed to characterize rodent movement patterns across the landscape.
    EcoHealth 06/2010; 7(2):176-84. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sin Nombre virus (SNV), Andes virus (ANDV), and Laguna Negra virus (LANV) have been known as the dominant causative agents of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). ANDV and LANV, with different patterns of pathogenicity, exist in a sympatric relationship. Moreover, there is documented evidence of person-to-person transmission of ANDV. Therefore, it is important in clinical medicine and epidemiology to know the serotype of a hantavirus causing infection. Truncated SNV, ANDV, and LANV recombinant nucleocapsid proteins (trNs) missing 99 N-terminal amino acids (trN100) were expressed using a baculovirus system, and their applicability for serotyping SNV, ANDV, and LANV infection by the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) was examined. HPS patient sera and natural-reservoir rodent sera infected with SNV, ANDV, and LANV showed the highest optical density (OD) values for homologous trN100 antigens. Since even patient sera with lower IgM and IgG antibody titers were serotyped, the trN100s are therefore considered useful for serotyping with early-acute-phase sera. In contrast, assays testing whole recombinant nucleocapsid protein antigens of SNV, ANDV, and LANV expressed in Escherichia coli detected homologous and heterologous antibodies equally. These results indicated that a screening ELISA using an E. coli-expressed antigen followed by a serotyping ELISA using trN100s is useful for epidemiological surveillance in regions where two or more hantavirus species cocirculate.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 03/2010; 48(5):1635-42. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the genetic analysis of samples from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) patients from southern and southeastern states of Brazil and rodents captured at the presumed site of infection of these patients. A total of 65 samples that were antibody-positive for Sin Nombre or Laguna Negra virus by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were processed by nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) by using several primer combinations in the M and S genome segments. PCR products were amplified and sequenced from samples from 11 HPS patient and 7 rodent samples. Phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequence differences showed the cocirculation of Araraquara and Juquitiba-like viruses, previously characterized from humans. Our genetic data indicate that Araraquara virus is associated with Bolomys lasiurus (hairy-tailed Bolo mouse) and the Juquitiba-like virus is associated with Oligoryzomys nigripes (black-footed pigmy rice rat).
    Emerging infectious diseases 01/2005; 10(12):2127-34. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to characterize the hantaviruses circulating in northwestern Argentina. Human and rodent studies were conducted in Yuto, where most cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) occur. Partial virus genome sequences were obtained from the blood of 12 cases of HPS, and from the lungs of 4 Calomys callosus and 1 Akodon simulator. Phylogenetic analysis showed that three genotypes associated with HPS circulate in Yuto. Laguna Negra (LN) virus, associated with C. laucha in Paraguay, was identified for the first time in Argentina; it was recovered from human cases and from C. callosus samples. The high sequence identity between human and rodent samples implicated C. callosus as the primary rodent reservoir for LN virus in Yuto. The genetic analysis showed that the Argentinian LN virus variant differed 16.8% at the nucleotide level and 2.9% at the protein level relative to the Paraguayan LN virus. The other two hantavirus lineages identified were the previously known Bermejo and Oran viruses.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 12/2004; 71(5):658-63. · 2.53 Impact Factor
  • Noemi Pini
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    ABSTRACT: Since the identification of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the United States in 1993, Latin America has been the region of the world where more hantaviruses have been identified, associated with human disease or not. This update shows the advances in the study of hantaviruses in several countries of the region and the problems that are still unresolved. Clinical findings in Chile have shown differences in the classical description of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the United States. Hemorrhage was observed in 64% of the cases and alteration in renal function in 48%. The classification of cases in mild, self-limited forms and severe forms has a prognostic value, with statistically significant differences between survivors and nonsurvivors. Epidemiological studies have shown noticeable differences in seroprevalence of antibodies against hantaviruses in humans, ranging from about 1% to more than 40% according to geographical and ethnical differences. Risk factors continue to be related to rural activities and peridomestic sites. Rodent studies have allowed the identification of putative reservoirs of hantaviruses in Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina and detected antibodies in several rodent species not previously reported in Paraguay and Panama. An Andes virus gene-based hantavirus pulmonary syndrome vaccine is currently under study. Progress in research on hantaviruses has been continuous but slow. The complex picture of the viruses, the rodent reservoirs and the clinical forms of the disease mean researchers are faced with the great challenge of properly clarifying the genetic and pathogenic relationships between hantaviruses in the Americas.
    Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 11/2004; 17(5):427-31. · 5.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We initiated a study to elucidate the ecology and epidemiology of hantavirus infections in northern Argentina. The northwestern hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS)-endemic area of Argentina comprises Salta and Jujuy Provinces. Between 1997 and 2000, 30 HPS cases were diagnosed in Jujuy Province (population 512,329). Most patients had a mild clinical course, and the death rate (13.3%) was low. We performed a serologic and epidemiologic survey in residents of the area, in conjunction with a serologic study in rodents. The prevalence of hantavirus antibodies in the general human population was 6.5%, one of the highest reported in the literature. No evidence of interhuman transmission was found, and the high prevalence of hantavirus antibody seemed to be associated with the high infestation of rodents detected in domestic and peridomestic habitats.
    Emerging infectious diseases 10/2003; 9(9):1070-6. · 5.99 Impact Factor
  • Medicina 06/2003; 63(3):193-196. · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A sero-epidemiological survey was conducted to detect evidence of the circulation of Hantavirus seoul. This virus of worldwide distribution is associated with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. A total of 106 samples from people who live in a marginal area in Buenos Aires City and 29 Rattus norvegicus captured in the surroundings of their houses were tested for specific antibodies. Thirty five samples from hypertensive patients undergoing a follow up health program, living in the same neighbourhood, were also tested. The antibody prevalence in rodents was 31% while no evidence of infection was found in the human samples.
    Medicina 02/2003; 63(3):193-6. · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the rodent species, distribution, and abundance in an urban area, in relation to epidemiology risk or damage, so as to elaborate a control program. The ÿrst sampling was done between May and July of 1998 on 31 vacant lots, 5 rubbish dumps, 15 stream banks, 18 railway banks and 28 vacant areas. Between August 1999 and June 2000 seasonal samples were taken in the same habitats. At each capture site 20 snap traps and 10 live traps were installed. Of 1253 animals captured, 74% were commensal rodents (Mus domesticus, Rattus rattus and Rattus norvergicus) and 26% were wild rodents (Calomys musculinus, Akodon dolores, A. azarae and C. venustus). M. domesticus was the population that numerically predominated in every sampled habitat. C. musculinus was the second most abundant species and its distribution was related to open space (vacant areas, railway banks, stream banks and rubbish dumps). The basic information found by this work will allow us to consider and measure the risk of a possible human infection in a speciÿc area. Thus, human diseases can be prevented by controlling rodent reservoirs and/or by avoiding contact between rodents and humans.
    International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 01/2003; 52:135-141. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a small mammal trapping study to investigate temporal variation in prevalence of infection in hantavirus reservoir populations in the Patagonian Andes mountain range, Rio Negro province, Argentina. Rodent blood samples collected in natural and periurban habitats and at the home of an hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) case patient were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Organ tissue samples were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nucleotide sequence analysis. Eight species of 1032 rodents were captured in 15 551 trap nights, giving an overall trap success of 6.6%. Hantavirus antibody was detected in 30 of 555 Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (reservoir of Andes virus), three of 411 Abrothrix longipilis, and one of 10 Loxodontomys micropus. Antibody prevalences in O. longicaudatus were 13.7% in spring 1996, 59.3% in summer 1996, 2.1% in autumn 1997, 12.4% in winter 1997 and 3.1% in spring 1997. A much higher antibody prevalence (33%) was found during trapping around the residence of an HPS case patient. Higher prevalences were found in older male O. longicaudatus. There was no apparent correlation of antibody prevalence with rodent population density, or of rodent population density or antibody prevalence with numbers of human cases. For an HPS case that occurred in our study area in 1997, we identified the probable rodent reservoir and likely site of exposure by matching the genetic sequences of virus obtained from a rodent and the HPS case patient.
    Tropical Medicine & International Health 11/2001; 6(10):811-6. · 2.94 Impact Factor
  • Current topics in microbiology and immunology 02/2001; 256:117-34. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Andes virus was identified in 1995 as the etiologic agent of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in Southern Argentina. We describe herein the main clinical characteristics of 25 HPS confirmed cases acquired in this area between 1993 and September 1999. The mean age was 34 years (range 11-70), with 72% males. Clinical characteristics were similar to those previously reported for Sin Nombre virus (SNV) cases. However, in this group of patients we also observed conjuntival injection in 10/25 (42%), facial flushing in 8/25 (33%), pharyngeal congestion in 7/25 (29%) and petechiae in 3/25 (12%). On the other hand, BUN was increased in 83% of cases (mean 0.77 g/l range 0.31-2.01). Mean serum creatinine concentration was 26.8 mg/l (range: 8.1-110 mg/l) with serum creatinine being higher than 20 mg/l in 8/15 patients (53%). Urinalysis was abnormal in 12/12 cases and was characterized by presence of proteins, red blood cells and granular casts. Aminotransferases were increased in 90% of cases with levels 5-10 times over normal values in 50% of cases. Serum creatine kinase concentration was elevated in 11/14 cases. Two patients required hemodialysis. Case fatality rate was 44% (11/25) and 10 of these cases died among the first 10 days of illness. Mononuclear myocarditis was observed in two cases, a finding that has not been reported for SNV cases. During the 1996 HPS outbreak in Southern Argentina due to Andes virus, there were epidemiological and molecular evidences of person-to-person transmission, a feature not previously shown for other members of the hantavirus genus. These data would also be indicative of some distinctive clinical characteristics of HPS caused by Andes virus, with more frequent renal involvement than in SNV cases.
    Medicina 02/2000; 60(3):289-301. · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Five species of sigmodontine rodents have been identified in Argentina as the putative reservoirs of six circulating hantavirus genotypes. Two species of Oligoryzomys are associated with the genotypes causing hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Oligoryzomys flavescens for Lechiguanas and O. longicaudatus for Andes and Oran genotypes. Reports of human cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome prompted rodent trapping (2,299 rodents of 32 species during 27,780 trap nights) at potential exposure sites in three disease-endemic areas. Antibody reactive to Sin Nombre virus was found in six species, including the known hantavirus reservoir species. Risk for peridomestic exposure to host species that carry recognized human pathogens was high in all three major disease-endemic areas.
    Emerging infectious diseases 01/1999; 5(6):792-7. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    Clinical Infectious Diseases 11/1998; 27(4):895-6. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phylogenetic analysis of a 292-nucleotide (nt) fragment of the hantavirus M genome segment from 36 rodent and 13 human samples from three known foci of hantavirus infection in Argentina was conducted. A 1654-nt fragment of the M genome segment was analyzed for 1 representative of 7 genetically distinct hantavirus lineages identified. Additionally, the nt sequence of the complete M genome segments of Lechiguanas, Oran, and Hu39694 hantavirus genotypes was determined. nt sequence comparisons reveal that 7 hantavirus lineages from Argentina differ from each other by 11.5%-21.8% and from Sin Nombre, Bayou, and Black Creek Canal viruses by 23.8%-26.5%. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that they form a unique, separate branch within the clade containing other New World sigmodontine-borne hantaviruses. Most Oligoryzomys-borne hantavirus genotypes clearly map together. The Oligoryzomys-borne genotypes Lechiguanas, Oran, and Andes appear to be associated with human disease. Oligoryzomys longicaudatus was identified as the likely rodent reservoir for Andes virus.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 04/1998; 177(3):529-38. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rodent-borne zoonosis first recognized in the United States in 1993. Person-to-person transmission has not been reported; however, in the outbreak of 20 cases reported here, epidemiologic evidence strongly suggests this route of transmission.
    Emerging infectious diseases 01/1997; 3(2):171-4. · 5.99 Impact Factor