Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome caused by 2 lineages of Dobrava hantavirus, Russia.
Bottom Line: To determine causative agents, we examined 126 cases of DOBV-associated HFRS in central and southern European Russia.In central Russia (Lipetsk, Voronezh, Orel regions), outbreaks were caused by a DOBV variant (DOBV-Aa) carried by Apodemus agrarius.In southern Russia (Sochi district), where HFRS is endemic, HFRS cases were caused by a new DOBV variant (DOBV-Ap), found in A. ponticus, a novel hantavirus natural host.
Affiliation: Charité School of Medicine, Berlin, Germany.
Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) is a European hantavirus that causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS); case-fatality rates in Balkan countries are as high as 12%. To determine causative agents, we examined 126 cases of DOBV-associated HFRS in central and southern European Russia. In central Russia (Lipetsk, Voronezh, Orel regions), outbreaks were caused by a DOBV variant (DOBV-Aa) carried by Apodemus agrarius. In southern Russia (Sochi district), where HFRS is endemic, HFRS cases were caused by a new DOBV variant (DOBV-Ap), found in A. ponticus, a novel hantavirus natural host. Both viruses, DOBV-Aa/Lipetsk and DOBV-Ap/Sochi, were isolated through Vero E6 cells, genetically characterized, and used for serotyping of the HFRS patients' serum. The clinical severity of HFRS caused by DOBV-Aa resembles that of HFRS caused by Puumala virus (mild to moderate); clinical severity of disease caused by DOBV-Ap infections is more often moderate to severe.
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Mentions: To ensure correct classification of the reservoir hosts, tissue samples of the 2 animals that served as the sources of virus isolation were subjected to DNA extraction and sequence analysis. Nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial DNA fragment containing the control region, D-loop, was determined for both animals and compared with Apodemus spp. D-loop sequences from GenBank. Neighbor-joining phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the Aa1854/Lipetsk animal was identified correctly as A. agrarius. However, no A. ponticus D-loop nucleotide sequence was available in GenBank for comparison. Nevertheless, phylogenetic analysis of Ap1584/Sochi showed that the obtained D-loop sequence was distinct from all other analyzed sequences (Figure 1). This finding at least confirms that Ap1584/Sochi was not a misidentified member of A. sylvaticus, A. flavicollis, or another morphologically similar Apodemus species.