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Journal Articles Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Year : 2008

Recent discoveries of new hantaviruses widen their range and question their origins

Philippe Buchy


Hantaviruses belong to the Bunyaviridae family. While usually hosted by wild mammals, they are potentially pathogenic for humans, and several serologically distinct groups associated with different syndromes have been identified. Yet, investigations have mostly been conducted where human infections by hantaviruses constitute a real and well-identified public health problem, i.e., the holarctic and neotropical areas. Some hantaviruses have also been described from a Suncus murinus in India and a Bandicota indica in Thailand. In addition, recent investigations in Cambodia revealed new Hantavirus types. More recently, two new Hantavirus species were described: Sangassou from a Hylomyscus simus, and Tanganya from a Crocidura theresae, both from Africa (Guinea), thus strongly questioning the current views about geographic range, evolution, and epidemiology of hantaviruses. In such a framework, we have conducted a survey of Hantavirus diversity in Southeast Asia which allows us to isolate the Thailand virus and address questions about the taxonomy of their rodent hosts. Here we present a molecular analysis of representatives of all currently known Hantavirus species, thus allowing the comparison between the newly described ones with a large range sample of rodent hantaviruses. Our results clearly point to the presence of a particular lineage of hantaviruses in Southeast Asia. It also strongly suggests that new viruses, additional mammalian hosts and different related syndromes in humans are likely to be discovered in the near future, particularly in Southeast Asia and in Africa, where Muridae rodents are highly diversified. Furthermore, additional work is also urgently needed to investigate the hantaviruses associated with Crociduridae and Soricidae.

Dates and versions

hal-00376206 , version 1 (16-04-2009)



Heikki Henttonen, Philippe Buchy, Yupin Suputtamongkol, Sathaporn Jittapalapong, Vincent Herbreteau, et al.. Recent discoveries of new hantaviruses widen their range and question their origins. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2008, 1149, pp.84-89. ⟨10.1196/annals.1428.064⟩. ⟨hal-00376206⟩
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