Hantavirus Genetic Diversity

  • Kim Blasdell
  • Heikki Hentonnen
  • Philippe Buchy


The genus Hantavirus, belonging to the family Bunyaviridae, is a rapidly expanding group of viruses. Although some members of the genus have been well known for over 30 years, in the last 5 years at least 12 putative novel hantavirus species have been identified, primarily in soricomorph mammals. Although just over 20 species of mainly rodent-borne hantaviruses are officially recognized, these newly identified species are likely increase the real total to between 30 and 50 species, depending on the parameters used to define a species. Many hantaviruses are important zoonotic pathogens, responsible for up to 200,000 human cases annually. Although the earliest hantaviruses to be recognized were usually identified in humans, and rodent samples were often differentiated through serological techniques, in the past 20 years almost all of the hantavirus species were identified using molecular methods. The molecular tools now available have allowed a more precise characterisation of hantavirus taxonomy, hantavirus species distribution, the identification of highly genetically different hantavirus species, recombination within and between hantavirus species and the genetic predisposition to severe hantavirus disease in humans.


Hemorrhagic Fever With Renal Syndrome Hantavirus Infection Nephropathia Epidemica Rodent Host Puumala Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Amino acid


Bayou virus


Case fatality rate


Dobrava virus


Hantavirus Cardio-Pulmonary Syndrome


Human leukocyte antigen


Hantaan Virus


Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome


International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses


Large (segment)


Medium (segment)


Major histocompatibility complex




Puumala virus


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


Small (segment)


Seoul virus


Sin Nombre virus


Thailand virus


Tula virus


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kim Blasdell
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Heikki Hentonnen
    • 4
  • Philippe Buchy
    • 1
  1. 1.Virology UnitInstitut Pasteur du CambodgePhnom PenhCambodia
  2. 2.Institut des Sciences de l’EvolutionCNRS, IRD, Université Montpellier 2, CC065Montpellier Cedex 05France
  3. 3.Australian Animal Health LaboratoryCSIROGeelongAustralia
  4. 4.Vantaa Research UnitFinnish Forest Research InstituteVantaaFinland

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