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Virology. 1994 Nov 1;204(2):563-8.

Genetic evidence for a hantavirus enzootic in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) captured a decade before the recognition of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

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Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


To determine if the emergence of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the United States was a consequence of recent amino-acid altering mutations and/or genetic reassortment with pathogenic hantaviruses, we examined lung and spleen tissues from seropositive deer mice trapped in August 1983 in Mono County, California, for hantaviral RNA by reverse transcriptase-directed polymerase chain reaction. Alignment and comparison of 1485 nucleotides of the S and M genomic segments enzymatically amplified from these tissues indicated that these deer mice harbored a hantavirus which was genetically similar, differing by less than 2% at the deduced amino-acid level, to the hantavirus implicated in cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome occurring in the Four-Corners region of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado in 1993. The peromyscine rodent-borne hantaviruses were, in turn, genetically distinct from other well-characterized hantaviruses, diverging by approximately 30% from Prospect Hill and Puumala viruses at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Phylogenetic analysis using the maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, and unweighted pair-group methods indicated that the Peromyscus-derived hantavirus shared a common ancestry with arvicolid rodent-borne hantaviruses. Overall congruency of the phylogenetic trees based on the S and M genomic sequences supported the evolutionary position of the peromyscine rodent-borne hantaviruses. Our data also establish the existence of a hantavirus enzootic in deer mice long before the recognition of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the United States.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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