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Argentine hemorrhagic fever

argentine hemorrhagic fever, argentine hemorrhagic fever virus
Argentine hemorrhagic fever AHF or O'Higgins disease, also known in Argentina as mal de los rastrojos, stubble disease, is a hemorrhagic fever and zoonotic infectious disease occurring in Argentina It is caused by the Junín virus an arenavirus, closely related to the Machupo virus, causative agent of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever Its vector is a species of rodent, the corn mouse


  • 1 Epidemiology
  • 2 Clinical aspects
    • 21 Vaccine
  • 3 Weaponization
  • 4 References
    • 41 Notes
    • 42 Bibliography


The disease was first reported in the town of O'Higgins es in Buenos Aires province, Argentina in 1958, giving it one of the names by which it is known1 Various theories about its nature were proposed: it was Weil's disease, leptospirosis, caused by chemical pollution1 It was associated with fields containing stubble after the harvest, giving it another of its names

The endemic area of AHF covers approximately 150,000 km², compromising the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Santa Fe and La Pampa, with an estimated risk population of 5 million

The vector, a small rodent known locally as ratón maicero "maize mouse"; Calomys musculinus, suffers from chronic asymptomatic infection, and spreads the virus through its saliva and urine Infection is produced through contact of skin or mucous membranes, or through inhalation of infected particles It is found mostly in people who reside or work in rural areas; 80% of those infected are males between 15 and 60 years of age

Clinical aspectsedit

AHF is a grave acute disease which may progress to recovery or death in 1 to 2 weeks The incubation time of the disease is between 10 and 12 days, after which the first symptoms appear: fever, headaches, weakness, loss of appetite and will These intensify less than a week later, forcing the infected to lie down, and producing stronger symptoms such as vascular, renal, hematological and neurological alterations This stage lasts about 3 weeks

If untreated, the mortality of AHF reaches 15–30% The specific treatment includes plasma of recovered patients, which, if started early, is extremely effective and reduces mortality to 1%2

Ribavirin also has shown some promise in treating arenaviral diseases

The disease was first detected in the 1950s in the Junín Partido in Buenos Aires, after which its agent, the Junín virus, was named upon its identification in 1958 In the early years, about 1,000 cases per year were recorded, with a high mortality rate more than 30% The initial introduction of treatment serums in the 1970s reduced this lethality


The Candid #1 vaccine for AHF was created in 1985 by Argentine virologist Dr Julio Barrera Oro The vaccine was manufactured by the Salk Institute in the United States, and became available in Argentina in 1990

Candid #1 has been applied to adult high-risk population and is 955% effective On 29 August 2006 the Maiztegui Institute obtained certification for the production of the vaccine in Argentina A vaccination plan is yet to be outlined, but the budget for 2007 allows for 390,000 doses, at AR$8 each about US$26 or €2 at the time The Institute has the capacity to manufacture, in one year, the 5 million doses required to vaccinate the entire population of the endemic area

Between 1991 and 2005 more than 240,000 people were vaccinated, achieving a great decrease in the numbers of reported cases 94 suspect and 19 confirmed in 2005

The Junín vaccine has also shown cross-reactivity with Machupo virus and, as such, has been considered as a potential treatment for Bolivian hemorrhagic fever


Argentine hemorrhagic fever was one of three hemorrhagic fevers and one of more than a dozen agents that the United States researched as potential biological weapons before the nation suspended its biological weapons program3 The Soviet Union also conducted research and developing programs on the potential of the hemorragic fever as a biological weapon4



  1. ^ a b Graciela Agnese: “Una rara enfermedad alarma a la modesta población de O’Higgins” Análisis del discurso de la prensa escrita sobre la epidemia de Fiebre Hemorrágica Argentina de 1958, Revista de Historia & Humanidades Médicas Vol 3 Nº 1, Julio 2007, wwwfmv-ubaorgar/histomedicinain Spanish
  2. ^ van Griensven, Johan; De Weiggheleire, Anja; Delamou, Alexandre; Smith, Peter G; Edwards, Tansy; Vandekerckhove, Philippe; Bah, Elhadj Ibrahima; Colebunders, Robert; Herve, Isola; Lazaygues, Catherine; Haba, Nyankoye; Lynen, Lutgarde 2015 "The Use of Ebola Convalescent Plasma to Treat Ebola Virus Disease in Resource-Constrained Settings: A Perspective From the Field" Clinical Infectious Diseases 62: civ680 ISSN 1058-4838 PMC 4678103  PMID 26261205 doi:101093/cid/civ680 
  3. ^ "Chemical and Biological Weapons: Possession and Programs Past and Presentpermanent dead link", James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury College, April 9, 2002, accessed November 14, 2008
  4. ^ Wheelis, Mark; Rózsa, Lajos & Dando, Malcolm: Deadly cultures: biological weapons since 1945 Harvard University Press, 2006 Page 141 ISBN 0-674-01699-8


  • Argentine Ministry of Health and Environment, 8 October 2006 Argentina fabricará vacuna contra la fiebre hemorrágica
  • Clarín, 29 September 2006 La vacuna contra el mal de los rastrojos ya se puede elaborar en el país
  • TodoAmbiente - Infectious diseases
  • ANLIS Fiebre hemorrágica argentina

argentine hemorrhagic fever, argentine hemorrhagic fever vaccine, argentine hemorrhagic fever virus

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