contracted this infection in Belgium and the United Kingdom (van Ypersele de Strihou, 1979; Desmyter et al., 1983; Lloyd et al., 1984). Therefore, rats and tumors from these lines should be screened before use. A large number of rat cell lines maintained by the American Type Culture Collection in Rockville, Md., have been tested and found to be free of hantaviruses (LeDuc et al., 1985b). Also, LOU rats obtained by the National Institutes of Health from the University of Louvain in Belguim have been tested and found free of these viruses (Johnson, 1986).
The hantaviruses can be isolated and propagated in A-549 and Vero E6 cells (French et al., 1981; H. W. Lee, 1982; Kitamura et al., 1983; Schmaljohn et al., 1983; Yamanishi et al., 1983). Again, P3 conditions should be maintained.
The best approach is to prevent Hantavirus infections by obtaining only animals, transplantable tumors, and other biologic materials that have been tested and found to be free of the infection. Also, contamination of rodent stocks by wild rodents must be prevented.
Laboratory rodent stocks found to be infected with a Hantavirus should be destroyed and replaced with pathogen-free stock (W.H.O., 1983; HFRS, 1988). Although not proven to be effective, cesarean derivation has been recommended for eliminating the infection in valuable genetic stocks (Johnson, 1986; HFRS, 1988).
The hantaviruses are important zoonoses (Johnson, 1986; Tsai, 1987b).