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J Gen Virol. 2002 Sep;83(Pt 9):2117-22.

Complete nucleotide sequence of the M RNA segment of Andes virus and analysis of the variability of the termini of the virus S, M and L RNA segments.

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Departmento de Virología, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas, ANLIS Dr Carlos G. Malbrán, Av. Velez Sarsfield 563, 1281 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) has been recognized increasingly as a significant public health problem in South America since Andes virus was first discovered in Argentina. Here, the isolation of Andes virus is reported from an infected rodent captured in Argentina in close vicinity to the place of the first HPS case, AH1. The complete nucleotide sequences of the virus M segment, partial L segment and the termini of the S, M and L segment genome RNAs were determined. The Andes virus M RNA segment is 3671 nt in length and is predicted to encode a glycoprotein precursor 1138 aa in length; it generally resembles the other HPS-associated hantaviruses in its organization. Relative to the G1 glycoprotein of other HPS-associated hantaviruses, an additional potential glycosylation site was found but this is located in the predicted cytoplasmic domain and is therefore unlikely to be glycosylated. In phylogenetic analyses, Andes virus, together with the more related hantaviruses, represented a monophyletic lineage. The S-terminal nucleotides were conserved relative to other New World hantaviruses. The M and L segment RNA termini had short deletions in the region believed to contain the sequence and structural features necessary for initiation of virus RNA replication and transcription. Clinical manifestations of Andes virus infections range from fulminant respiratory disease with high lethality to mild course without sequelae. Andes virus has also been associated with person-to-person transmission. Accumulation of Andes virus genetic data will be essential for understanding the factors that regulate virus replication and transmission and to determine the pathogenesis of HPS.

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