The results of analyses of Z, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, glycoprotein precursor, and nucleocapsid protein gene sequence data suggested that Guanarito virus was the most common cause of Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever in a 7-year period in the 1990s and that the evolution of Pirital virus in association with Sigmodon alstoni (Alston's cotton rat) has occurred at a significantly higher rate than the evolution of Guanarito virus in association with Zygodontomys brevicauda (short-tailed cane mouse) on the plains of western Venezuela. The results of analyses of the primary structures of the glycoproteins of the 8 strains of Guanarito virus isolated from humans suggested that these strains would be highly cross-reactive in neutralization assays. Thus, passive antibody therapy may prove beneficial in the treatment of human disease caused by strains of Guanarito virus that are enzootic in the region in which Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever is endemic. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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