Hantavirus infections among human populations are linked to the geographic distribution of the host rodents that carry the viruses. To determine the presence and distribution of hantaviruses in the northern region of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), northwestern China, 844 rodents were captured from five locations in four dissimilar habitats during 2010–14 and examined for Hantavirus infection. Hantavirus nucleic acids were firstly detected in the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) from Ürümqi, China, indicating that the Hantavirus was transmitted into Ürümqi in XUAR and circulated by the brown rat. Our results suggest that the brown rat may act as a natural reservoir for the virus in XUAR.
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Vol. 52 • No. 3