1887

Abstract

In this study, for the first time, two distinct genetic lineages of Puumala virus (PUUV) were found within a small sampling area and within a single host genetic lineage (Ural mtDNA) at Pallasjärvi, northern Finland. Lung tissue samples of 171 bank voles () trapped in September 1998 were screened for the presence of PUUV nucleocapsid antigen and 25 were found to be positive. Partial sequences of the PUUV small (S), medium (M) and large (L) genome segments were recovered from these samples using RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis revealed two genetic groups of PUUV sequences that belonged to the Finnish and north Scandinavian lineages. This presented a unique opportunity to study inter-lineage reassortment in PUUV; indeed, 32 % of the studied bank voles appeared to carry reassortant virus genomes. Thus, the frequency of inter-lineage reassortment in PUUV was comparable to that of intra-lineage reassortment observed previously (Razzauti, M., Plyusnina, A., Henttonen, H. & Plyusnin, A. (2008). , 1649–1660). Of six possible reassortant S/M/L combinations, only two were found at Pallasjärvi and, notably, in all reassortants, both S and L segments originated from the same genetic lineage, suggesting a non-random pattern for the reassortment. These findings are discussed in connection to PUUV evolution in Fennoscandia.

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2009-08-01
2019-11-14
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