U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Virus Research 70 (2000) 31–44


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


blood samples collected from HFRS patients in 1994–1998, were examined by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. In addition, 36 sera were tested by an immunofluorescence assay for antibodies against Hantaan, Seoul, Puumala, and Khabarovsk viruses, and 54 samples were tested by plaque reduction neutralization test. With both serological assays, the highest antibody titers were to Hantaan and:or Seoul viruses. Of 110 blood samples 36 were found RT-PCR positive. Phylogenetic analysis the sequences of a 256-nucleotide (nt) fragment of the hantavirus M genome segment revealed at least 3 genetically distinct hantavirus lineages. Nucleotide sequence comparison showed that two of the lineages, designated as FE and Amur (AMR), differed from one another by 15.9–21.2% and from Hantaan virus by 9.8–17.5%. The third lineage, VDV, differed from Seoul virus by 2.6–5.1%. All S segment sequences were from FE lineage, and differed from Hantaan virus by 10.7–12.6%. Thirty of the 36 (83%) analyzed sequences were found to be the FE genotype, which is very similar to that of Hantaan virus, strain 76-118. Of the remaining hantaviruses, 11% were the AMR genotype, and 6% the VDV genotype, which are genetically novel genotypes of Hantaan or Seoul viruses, respectively