First human isolate of Hantavirus (Andes virus) in the Americas.
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We isolated Andes virus (formal name: Andes virus [ANDV], a species in the genus Hantavirus), from serum of an asymptomatic 10-year-old Chilean boy who died 6 days later of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). The serum was obtained 12 days after his grandmother died from HPS and 2 days before he became febrile. No hantavirus immunoglobulin (Ig) G or IgM antibodies were detected in the serum sample. After three blind passages, ANDV antigens were detected in Vero E6 cells by immunofluorescence assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and ANDV RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. A fragment of the virus genome showed 96.2% nucleotide identity with that of prototype ANDV. To our knowledge, this is the first isolation of any agent of hemorrhagic fever with HPS from a human and the first such isolation of hantavirus before symptoms of that syndrome or HPS began.