Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Prevalence of serum IgG antibodies to Puumala virus (haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) in Northern Sweden

C. Ahlma1a2 c1, M. Linderholma1a2 c1, P. Jutoa2, B. Stegmayra3 and B. Settergrena1

a1 Department of Infectious Diseases University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden

a2 Department of Virology University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden

a3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden


A stratified and randomly-selected population sample was identified in 1990 in order to study the seroprevalence of nephropathia epidemica (haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome) in Northern Sweden. Sera from 1538 subjects (750 men, 788 women), 25—64 years of age, were analysed for the presence of Puumala virus (PUV) specific-IgG by the indirect immunofluorescence antibody test. Specific IgG was detected in sera from 83 subjects (5·4%). Men and women had similar seroprevalence rates. The highest seroprevalences were found in subjects 55 years or older (8·0%) and among farmers and forestry workers (15·9%). The geographic distribution of seropositive individuals was uneven and there were significantly more seropositive persons in rural than in urban areas (P < 0·05).

(Accepted March 24 1994)


c1 Address for correspondence and reprint requests: Dr Clas Ahlm, Department of Infectious Diseases. University of Umeå, S-901 85 Umeå, Sweden.