Small mammals trapped in Sweden were analysed for specific antibody responses against three hantavirus serotypes and for the presence of viral antigen. To determine the genetic identity of viral RNA in lungs of seropositive bank voles (), polymerase chain reactions and subsequent partial sequencing of both the M and S segments were employed. The sequences obtained were all identified as Puumala (PUU) virus, with a high degree of heterogeneity between the different geographical localities. Alignment of nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences, together with phylogenetic analysis, showed that PUU viruses circulating in central Sweden were distinct from those in the northern region. The localization of the two distinct PUU virus genotypes was shown to correlate with the postglacial recolonization of Sweden by bank voles.


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