Alcohol Consumption and Its Influence on the Clinical Picture of Puumala Hantavirus Infection

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Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome. Characteristic clinical findings include acute kidney injury (AKI), thrombocytopenia, and capillary leakage. Smoking increases the risk of severe AKI, but it is not known whether alcohol consumption predisposes patients to a more severe infection. Liver and pancreatic enzymes, as well as biomarkers of alcohol consumption (gamma-glutamyl transferase, GGT; carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, CDT; GGT-CDT combination; and ethyl glucuronide, EtG), were measured from 66 patients with acute PUUV infection during hospitalization and at the convalescence phase. Alcohol consumption was present in 41% of the study population, 15% showing signs of heavy drinking. Alcohol use did not affect the severity of PUUV induced AKI nor the overall clinical picture of the infection. Liver enzyme levels (GGT or alanine aminotransferase, ALT) were elevated in 64% of the patients, but the levels did not associate with the markers reflecting the severity of the disease. Serum amylase activities at the convalescent stage were higher than those at the acute phase (p < 0.001). No cases with acute pancreatitis were found. In conclusion, our findings indicate that alcohol consumption does not seem to affect the clinical course of an acute PUUV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number500
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Acute kidney injury
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Ethanol
  • Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome
  • Liver enzymes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Puumala hantavirus

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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