, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 227-232

Genetic Diversity of Apodemus agrarius-Borne Hantaan Virus in Korea

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Hantaan (HTN) virus, the etiologic agent of clinically severe hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), was first isolated in 1976 from lung tissues of striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius) captured in Songnae-ri, Kyungki-do, Korea. To clarify the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship among Korean strains of HTN virus, viral sequences of the partial S and M segments were amplified from lung tissues of 24 seropositive striped field mice captured between 1989 and 1998 at 11 sites in South Korea. The 771-nucleotide (nt) S segment sequences (coordinates 432 to 1202) of HTN virus strains from Yangju-kun differed by 10 to 40 nt (1.3 to 5.2%) from virus strains from Pocheon-kun, Songnae-ri and Nonsan-kun. Similar degrees of genetic variation were found in the G1 and G2 glycoprotein-encoding M segment. Phylogenetic trees, based on the partial S and M segments and generated by the maximum parsimony and neighbor-joining methods, demonstrated that virus strains from various geographic regions in South Korea showed a tendency to form two phylogenetic subgroups and were evolutionarily distinct from HTN virus strains from the People’s Republic of China.