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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2010 Aug;10(6):593-7. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2009.0159.

Novel hantavirus in the flat-skulled shrew (Sorex roboratus).

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Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA.


Genetically distinct hantaviruses have been identified recently in multiple species of shrews (Order Soricomorpha, Family Soricidae) in Eurasia and North America. To corroborate decades-old reports of hantaviral antigens in shrews from Russia, archival liver and lung tissues from 4 Siberian large-toothed shrews (Sorex daphaenodon), 5 Eurasian least shrews (Sorex minutissimus), 12 flat-skulled shrews (Sorex roboratus), and 18 tundra shrews (Sorex tundrensis), captured in the Sakha Republic in northeastern Siberia during July and August 2006, were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. A novel hantavirus, named Kenkeme virus, was detected in a flat-skulled shrew. Sequence analysis of the full-length S and partial M and L segments indicated that Kenkeme virus was genetically and phylogenetically distinct from Seewis virus harbored by the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus), as well as all other rodent-, soricid-, and talpid-borne hantaviruses.

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