J Korean Soc Microbiol.  1999 Apr;34(2):163-174.

Phylogenetic Relationships and co-evolution Between Hantaan Virus and Rodent Host , Striped-field Mice ( Apodemus agrarius ) by Mitochondrial DNA Sequences


Hantaviruses, members of the family Bunyaviridae, are causative agents of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Hantaan (HTN) virus, the etiologic agent of clinically severe HFRS in Far East Asia, Russia and the Balkans, was first isolated in 1976 from lung tissues of striped-field mice (Apodemus agrarius) captured in Songnae-ri, Kyungki-do, Korea. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in vertebrates evolve very rapidly, and hence it can provide a high resolution for distinguishing between closely related organism and species. To clarify the phylogenetic relationship of HTN viruses with their natural rodent host, a part of M segment of HTN virus and 424-nucleotide region of cytochrome b gene of mtDNA were amplified and sequenced from tissues of striped-field mice by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and PCR, respectively. A 324-nucleotide region of G2 glycoprotein-encoding M segment of HTN virus was amplified from lung tissues of A. agrarius mice, revealed 84-86% sequence similarity with Apodemus-borne HTN virus strains from China. The co-speciation of Apodemus-borne hantaviruses with its natural reservoir rodents, A. agrarius and A. flavicollis, be found. A. agrarius rodent population from South Korea had almost same genetic background irrespective of their geographic origin. HTN virus strains from South Korea shared a common ancestry and were evolutionarily distinct from HTN viruses kom China. We have found no evidence for the presence of phylogenetic relationship of A. agrarius-borne Korean HTN virus strains with the genetic diversity of their rodent host captured in Korea based on cytochrome b gene of mtDNA.

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