Data relating to hantavirus infection in Spain are scarce and limited to rural areas. The aim of this work was to study the seroprevalence of hantavirus infection in the Autonomous Community of Madrid (ACM), a region containing both rural and urban populations in different ecological settings. Sera from 3852 individuals (1849 male, 2003 female) were screened by indirect inmunofluorescence, with Vero E6 cells infected with Puumala, Hantaan and Seoul viruses as antigens. Screen-positive results were confirmed by Western blot with recombinant Seoul virus nucleocapsid protein as antigen. Antibodies against hantavirus were detected in 12 sera (0.31%). No statistical differences were found according to sex and age. The highest prevalence was found in the southeastern area, significantly higher than the central and north-western areas. The most frequent serological pattern was reactivity against all three viruses used (33.3% of all positive sera). Therefore, this study confirms the presence of hantavirus infection in the ACM, including for the first time an urban area of Spain, but with the highest prevalence in a rural area. Serological evidence suggests that there is more than one circulating serotype.
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