Is there an association of Pneumocystis infection with the presence of arena-, hanta-, and poxvirus antibodies in wild mice and shrews in Finland?

J. LAAKKONEN a1a2, E. R. KALLIO a1a2a3, H. KALLIO-KOKKO a1a4c1, O. VAPALAHTI a1a4, A. VAHERI a1 and H. HENTTONEN a2
a1 Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
a2 Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa, Finland
a3 Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, P.O. Box 66, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
a4 Department of Virology, HUSLAB, P.O. Box 400, FIN-00029 The Hospital District of Helsinki and Vusima, Finland

Article author query
laakkonen j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kallio er   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
kallio-kokko h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
vapalahti o   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
vaheri a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
henttonen h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


As part of studies on the nature of the endemic virus infections in natural rodent hosts, the possible association of cyst forms of Pneumocystis spp. with the presence of hanta-, cowpox-, and arenavirus antibodies in wild mice (Apodemus flavicollis, N=105; Apodemus agrarius, N=63; Micromys minutus, N=50) and the common shrew (Sorex araneus, N=101) was studied in south-central Finland. One hantavirus (Saaremaa virus, SAAV) seropositive A. agrarius, and 2 cowpoxvirus (CPXV) seropositive S. araneus were detected, and antibodies against an arenavirus (Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, LCMV) were found in all 3 mouse species but not in shrews. Cyst forms of Pneumocystis spp. were detected in all species except A. agrarius. There was no significant association between virus antibodies (LCMV in mice, and CPXV in shrews) and cyst forms of Pneumocystis in any of the species. Concurrent presence of virus antibodies (LCMV) and cyst forms of Pneumocystis were detected only in 1 M. minutus. In conclusion, we found no evidence of any association between Pneumocystis and antibodies to any of the viruses tested.

(Received July 20 2005)
(Revised August 8 2005)
(Revised October 3 2005)
(Accepted October 3 2005)
(November 25 2005)

Key Words: Pneumocystis; hantavirus; poxvirus; arenavirus; rodents; voles; mice; shrews.

c1 Department of Virology, Haartman Institute, P.O. Box 21, FIN-00014 Uni- versity of Helsinki, Finland. Tel: +358 9 1911. Fax: +358 9 191 26491. E-mail: