Epidemiological Investigation of Hantavirus in Rodents at International Ports in Taiwan, 2010-2013

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.20150728.31(14).002

Shin-Wei Su1*, Yi-Chun Wu1, Shu-Fen Chang2, Li-Li Ho1, Cheng-Fu Su1

2015 Vol.31 NO.14

Correspondence Author: Shin-Wei Su

  • 1.Division of Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2.Center for Research, Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


Hantavirus is a category II notifiable disease in Taiwan. The aim of this study is to investigate the rodent population, distribution, and seropositive rate of Hantavirus in its rodent vector. During the period from Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2013, a total of 3,088 rodents, which can be categorized into 6 species in 4 genera, 2 families, and 2 orders have been captured at international ports in Taiwan. The dominate species of the captured rodents were the species of Rattus norvegicus, followed by, in percentage descending order, Suncus murinus, Rattus losea, Rattus tanezumi, Bandicota indica and Musmus culus. The number of rodents captured were not differ greatly by year, indicated that the rodents now reached to a stable population in ports area. The detected Hantavirus seropositive rate was highest in R. norvegicus (11.52%), followed by R. tanezumi (2.60%), S. murinus (1.01%), and R. losea (0.25%). The average Hantavirus seropositive rate in rodents captured at international ports during Jan 2010 to Dec 2013 was 6.02 % (0.00%–36.55%), except none detected in two ports (Taipei seaport and Hualian seaport). Although we have been monitoring the infection of hantavirus in rodents at international ports during the period from Nov 2004 to Dec 2013, but the hantavirus seropositive rate in rodent population was still presented at a certain level. The risk of human infection by hantavirus when in contact with excreta or secretions from infected rodents is high. We suggested that the authorities at international ports should strengthen port sanitation control and decrease density of rodent population in ports area, and focus on rodent elimination by drug, thus reduce the chance of contact between human and rodents, furthermore reduce the risk of human infection.

Keywords:International ports; Rodent host; Hantavirus; Ports sanitation