The prototype Puumala virus (PV) Sotkamo strain small (S) and medium (M) RNA genome segments were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cloned and sequenced. The S segment is 1830 nucleotides long with an open reading frame coding for 433 amino acids. The identity to the PV Hällnäs strain was 83% at the nucleotide and 96% at the amino acid level. The M segment in the Sotkamo strain is 3616 nucleotides long and contains one open reading frame of 1148 amino acids with 83% nucleotide and 94% amino acid identity to the Hällnäs strain. Most amino acid changes were conservative and the five predicted glycosylation sites are identical. The amino acid identity to the prototype hantavirus, Hantaan virus, was 62 and 54% for S and M segments, respectively. The coding region of the S segment was further amplified by PCR, ligated to pEX vectors and expressed in as a β-galactosidase fusion protein and was seen to be specifically detected by nephropathia epidemica sera in immunoblotting.


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