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Infect Genet Evol. 2011 Dec;11(8):1862-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.07.013. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

A new subtype of Thottapalayam virus carried by the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) in China.

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State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Zoonoses, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changping Liuzi 5, 102206 Beijing, China.


Recently, many novel hantavirus species carried by insectivore had been found. In order to know whether the insectivore-associated hantaviruses exist in China, Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) were analyzed for the presence of hantaviruses. 362 Asian house shrews were captured in Wenzhou of Zhejiang province. Hantavirus-specific RNA was detected by RT-PCR in lung tissue samples of six shrews. The complete hantavirus S and M segment sequences and also partial L segment sequences were successfully recovered. Pairwise comparison of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences showed that the newly discovered virus strains are most closely related to Thottapalayam virus (TPMV) isolated from S. murinus in India, with 82.5-84.7% sequence identity at the nucleotide level and 95.0-98.2% at the amino acid level. Corresponding sequences of Imjin virus (MJNV) were more distant and other rodent- and insectivore-associated hantaviruses appeared even less related. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the new variants formed a distinct lineage within TPMV.

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