Mai-Klassensitzung NWTW

Mai-Sitzung der Klasse NWTW der Leibniz-Sozietät

12. Mai 2022 – 9.30 bis 11.30 Uhr

Die Klasse Naturwissenschaften und Technikwissenschaften der Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften führt ihre öffentliche wissenschaftliche Mai-Sitzung am 12. Mai 2022 in der Zeit von 9.30 bis 11.30 Uhr als ZOOM-Meeting durch zum Thema:

Hantaviruses: a story of (not only) mice and men


Meeting-ID: 613 9464 6405

Bitte beachten Sie die veränderte Anfangszeit.

Vortragender: Dr. Boris Klempa (MLS)


Hantaviruses are emerging zoonotic viruses. Their reservoir hosts are small mammals, particularly rodents. Virus transmission to humans occurs via inhalation of aerosolized rodent urine, saliva, and feces. Hantaviruses cause two human diseases, “Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome” (HFRS) in Asia and Europe and “Hantavirus Cardiopulmonary Syndrome” (HCPS) in the Americas with case fatality rates of up to 35–50%.

Numerous new hantavirus discoveries occurred during the last 15 years. Consequently, the dogmatic view on hantaviruses as rodent-borne viruses had to be re-considered because most of the newfound hantaviruses were found in non-rodent hosts such as shrews, moles, and even bats.

Significant epidemiological findings were obtained also in Europe. Sochi virus has been recently identified as a new genotype of the Dobrava-Belgrade hantavirus species (DOBV) which causes life-threatening HFRS cases in the Black Sea coast area of the European part of Russia. DOBV is the most virulent hantavirus in Europe which is hosted by several species of the genus Apodemus. Phylogenetic analyses and in vitro experiments showed that genetic reassortment of the genomic segments, well known for influenza for viruses, most likely occurred during DOBV evolution.

Although several important chapters have been added during the last decades, it is obvious that the story of hantaviruses is not over. Hantaviruses remain to be a serious health threat for humans, leading to fatal diseases.


Boris Klempa, DSc. (1976) is an internationally recognized expert in the field of molecular evolution and ecology of zoonotic viruses transmitted to humans from small mammals and ticks. He is currently affiliated as a principal investigator and head of Department of Virus Ecology at the Institute of Virology, Biomedical Research Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava.

He studied biology at the Comenius University in Bratislava. He then obtained his PhD at the Humboldt University in Berlin in 2004 where he worked at the Charité Universitätsmedizin under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Detlev H. Krüger.

His particular interests are molecular evolution and epidemiology of hantaviruses, important human pathogens causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. He started this research during his time at the Institute of Virology, Charité Universitätsmedizin where he altogether spent 18 years. He was involved in discoveries of the first hantaviruses from Africa and is recognized for his pioneering work in the field of identification of new hantaviruses in non-conventional hosts such as shrews, moles, or bats. He also significantly contributed to molecular epidemiologic characterization of hantaviruses in Central Europe and Russia.