We examined the genetic and antigenic properties of Dobrava (DOB) virus, a hantavirus associated with severe haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Europe. Cloning and sequence analyses revealed the DOB M segment to consist of 3644 nucleotides, with a coding capacity of 1134 amino acids in the virus complementary-sense RNA (cRNA). Seven potential asparagine-linked glycosylation sites were identified in the M segment gene product, one in the G2 and six in the G1 coding regions. The S segment is 1667 nucleotides long, and has a single ORF in the cRNA capable of encoding a protein of 428 amino acids. Phylogenetic comparisons of the M and S segments of DOB virus to those of other hantaviruses indicated that DOB virus is similar to, but clearly distinct from Hantaan (HTN) and Seoul (SEO) viruses. Certain G2-specific, but not G1-specific monoclonal antibodies to HTN virus reacted to the same titre with DOB and homologous viral antigen. Plaque-reduction neutralization tests indicated that, of the sera tested, only antisera to SEO virus were able to neutralize DOB virus to a titre greater than 1:10; however, this neutralization titre was eightfold lower than that observed with homologous SEO virus. The data reported here confirm that DOB virus is a unique species in the genus, family .


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