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Virus Genes. 1996;12(3):249-56.

Sequence analysis of the complete S genomic segment of a newly identified hantavirus isolated from the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus): phylogenetic relationship with other sigmodontine rodent-borne hantaviruses.

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


Four Corners (FC) or Sin Nombre virus, a hantavirus harbored by the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), is the principal etiologic agent of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Recently, a hantavirus, designated New York (NY) virus, isolated from a white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) captured on Shelter Island, New York, was molecularly linked to a fatal case of HPS occurring in the northeastern United States. To clarify the genetic and phylogenetic relationship between NY and FC viruses and other sigmodontine rodent-borne hantaviruses, we amplified and sequenced the entire S genomic segment of NY virus. The S segment of NY virus was 2078 nucleotides long, with an open reading frame of 1284 nucleotides in the virus complementary strand, capable of encoding a protein of 428 amino acids, and with a 752-nucleotide long 3'-noncoding region, comprised of numerous imperfect repeats. Pairwise analysis indicated that NY virus was more similar to FC virus than to other sigmodontine rodent-borne hantaviruses, differing from strains of FC virus by 16.6-17.8% and 7.0-8.2% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively. As determined by the maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining methods, NY virus formed a separate lineage from FC virus and was phylogenetically distinct from hantaviruses harbored by other sigmodontine rodents. Whether or not NY and FC viruses represent distinct viral species is unclear. Further analyses of hantaviruses harbored by white-footed mice are needed to clarify the genetic diversity and evolution of Peromyscus-borne hantaviruses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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