Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

  • Professor: Jiro Arikawa
  • Associate Professor: Kumiko Morimatsu-Yoshimatsu
  • Lecturer: Yoshimi Tsuda
  • Assistant Professor: Kenta Shimizu
  • Phone: +81-11-716-2111 ext. 6906
  • E-mail: j_arika
Recently, the threat of zoonses originated from wild animals increases more and more. This is closely related to development of transportation which has led the rapid and large quantities transportations of the person and freight. And also development of the rural areas where the wild animals is inhabiting led to encounter of person and pathogen. Therefore, the threat of zoonoses might continue in the future, and we have to consider for effective measures against them. In our laboratory, we have focused on the hantavirus which is agents for the hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and Hantavirus pulumonay syndrome. Hantavirus infection is considered as representative rodent-born viral zoonosis found in worldwide. The research on hantaviruses must be directly contribute for control of zoonoses.


To examine the mechanisms of pathogenisity of hantaviruses, following research projects are going on.

1. Structure and function of viral proteins

By using hantavirus authentic and recombinant N protein and envelope glycoproteins, structure and function are analyzed. Host cell factors related to establishment of infection are resent subject of the research.

2. Development of animal models for HFRS, HPS, and natural host

We try to develop disease model (for patient) and persistent infection model (for natural host) by using laboratory mice. Using these models, we focused on cytotoxic T cell activities and pathogenesis.

3. Epidemiological studies in Asian countries

Seroepidemiological and molecular epidemiological studies are carried out as collaboration with scientists in Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Vietnam.

4. Development of diagnostic method

 By using recombinant viral proteins, safe and rapid serotyping assay including a substitute for ordinary neutralization test are developed. Two systems have published. One is truncated N-protein based ELISA system and another is envelope glycoprotein-based neutralization system of pseudotype virion. 


Faculty members in this section give classes of pathogenic microbiology. We also take part in the courses of miclobiology for the third grade undergraduate students. Almost all of these classes are given in Japanese, while only a few are given in English. We accept applications of young prospective researchers who take master (2 years) or doctoral (4 years) courses to learn the viral hemorrhagic fever in our laboratory.

International Activities

Collaboration for hantavirus epidemiology in human and natural host animals
Thailand (NIH), Indonesia, Vietnam Hanoi (NIHE), Vietnam HCMC (Pasteur institute), India (Verolle, Christian Hospital)

Selected Publications

1. Taruishi, M., K. Yoshimatsu, K. Araki, M. Okumura, I. Nakamura, K. Kajino, and J. Arikawa. 2007. Analysis of the immune response of Hantaan virus nucleocapsid protein-specific CD8+ T cells in mice. Virology 365:292-301.
2. Okumura, M., K. Yoshimatsu, S. Kumperasart , I. Nakamura, M. Ogino, M. Taruishi, A. Sungdee, S. Pattamadilok, I. N. Ibrahim, S. Erlina, T. Agui, R. Yanagihara, and J. Arikawa. 2007. Development of serological assays for Thottapalayam virus, an insectivore-borne Hantavirus. Clin Vaccine Immunol 14:173-81.
3. Pattamadilok, S., B. H. Lee, S. Kumperasart, K. Yoshimatsu, M. Okumura, I. Nakamura, K. Araki, Y. Khoprasert, P. Dangsupa, P. Panlar, B. Jandrig, D. H. Kruger, B. Klempa, T. Jakel, J. Schmidt, R. Ulrich, H. Kariwa, and J. Arikawa. 2006. Geographical distribution of hantaviruses in Thailand and potential human health significance of Thailand virus. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75:994-1002.
4. Lee, B. H., K. Yoshimatsu, K. Araki, M. Okumura, I. Nakamura, and J. Arikawa. 2006. A pseudotype vesicular stomatitis virus containing Hantaan virus envelope glycoproteins G1 and G2 as an alternative to hantavirus vaccine in mice. Vaccine 24:2928-34.
5. Ogino, M., K. Yoshimatsu, H. Ebihara, K. Araki, B. H. Lee, M. Okumura, and J. Arikawa. 2004. Cell fusion activities of Hantaan virus envelope glycoproteins. J Virol 78:10776-82.