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Virol J. 2009 Nov 24;6:208. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-6-208.

Genetic diversity and phylogeography of Seewis virus in the Eurasian common shrew in Finland and Hungary.

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Department of Pediatrics, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA.


Recent identification of a newfound hantavirus, designated Seewis virus (SWSV), in the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus), captured in Switzerland, corroborates decades-old reports of hantaviral antigens in this shrew species from Russia. To ascertain the spatial or geographic variation of SWSV, archival liver tissues from 88 Eurasian common shrews, trapped in Finland in 1982 and in Hungary during 1997, 1999 and 2000, were analyzed for hantavirus RNAs by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. SWSV RNAs were detected in 12 of 22 (54.5%) and 13 of 66 (19.7%) Eurasian common shrews from Finland and Hungary, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of S- and L-segment sequences of SWSV strains, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, revealed geographic-specific genetic variation, similar to the phylogeography of rodent-borne hantaviruses, suggesting long-standing hantavirus-host co-evolutionary adaptation.

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