A Vero E6 cell culture isolate of Tula virus (TUL), a hantavirus first detected in European common voles ( and ) by RT-PCR was obtained after initial passaging of TUL-infected vole lung samples in laboratory-colonized . TUL was defined as a classical serotype by a cross-focus-reduction neutralization test (FRNT) and was also shown to be distinct from other hantaviruses by haemagglutination inhibition assay. The sequences of S, M and partial L genome segments of the isolate were determined: the S segment was 99·9% identical to the original rodent-derived sequence. Serological evidence for a previous TUL infection was obtained from the serum of a blood donor living near a TUL focus in Moravia, Czech Republic, showing at least a 16-fold higher FRNT titre to TUL as compared to Puumala or other hantaviruses.


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