Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2023


Orthohantaviruses are negative-sense, single stranded RNA viruses with trisegmented genomes that can cause severe disease in humans and are carried by several host reservoirs throughout the world. In the United States, Sin Nombre orthohantavirus (SNV) is the primary cause of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) with a fatality rate of ~36% and the highest cases occuring in the southwest region. The primary SNV host reservoir is thought to be the western deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, however it has been shown that other rodents can carry different orthohantaviruses. We designed a pan-orthohantavirus detection tool to survey several small mammal populations throughout New Mexico. We discovered a different orthohantavirus for the first time in the state while generating a reference genome. Next, we surveyed for SNV and developed a novel sequencing strategy while also isolating virus from different hosts. Altogether, this work challenges the theory of orthohantavirus host resevoirs and enhances surviellence efforts.


RNA virus, hantavirus, zoonotic, surveillance, infection, New Mexico

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Steven B. Bradfute, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Bryce C. Chackerian, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Eliseo F. Castillo, Ph.D.

Fourth Committee Member

Daryl B. Domman, Ph.D.