NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New research out of the University of New Mexico shows hantavirus may be more prevalent than originally thought. The research also shows there could be hope for a cure.

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Originally it was believed that deer mice were the only species that carried hantavirus. Steven Bradfute, PhD, an associate professor and expert in virology, immunology and microbiology from UNM has confirmed the virus can also be carried by other rodent species. These include house mice, brush mice, white footed mice, pinon mice and chipmunks.

Bradfute and his colleagues are conducting more research to see if these other species can also spread the disease or just contract it. While there has been no cure for hantavirus, Bradfute and an international consortium of investigators are studying monoclonal antibodies that appear to provide broad protection against hantavirus. The hope is to translate those new findings into treatments and vaccines, although that could still be some time away.