They discovered that it resides within the multimammate mouse
and jumps into people who eat food contaminated by the rodent's waste.
Mus indutus Desert pygmy mouse Petromyscus collinus Pygmy rock mouse Rhabdomys pumilio Four-striped grass mouse Saccostomus campestris Pouched mouse Thallomys paedulcus Acacia rat u.u.
The synanthropic nature of some rodent species makes them important reservoirs of RNA viruses pathogenic to humans, such as hantaviruses (e.g., Seoul virus in black and Norway rats worldwide) and arenaviruses (e.g., Lassa virus in the multimammate mouse
in western Africa or lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in the house mouse worldwide).
The multimammate mouse
, Mastomys natalensis, is the reservoir host of Lassa virus in western Africa (3) and Mopeia virus, for which human pathogenicity has not been reported, in eastern Africa (4,5).
Lassa fever virus is an Old World arenavirus associated with the multimammate mouse
(Mastomys natalensis) that causes hemorrhagic fever, which affects large numbers of persons in West Africa.