Hokkaido genotype of Puumala virus in the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus) and northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus) in Siberia.
ABSTRACT: Three species of Myodes voles known to harbor hantaviruses include the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), which serves as the reservoir host of Puumala virus (PUUV), the prototype arvicolid rodent-borne hantavirus causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Europe, and the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus) and royal vole (Myodes regulus) which carry two PUUV-like hantaviruses, designated Hokkaido virus (HOKV) and Muju virus (MUJV), respectively. To ascertain the hantavirus harbored by the northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus), we initially screened sera from 233 M. rutilus, as well as from 90 M. rufocanus and 110 M. glareolus, captured in western and eastern Siberia during June 2007 to October 2009, for anti-hantaviral antibodies. Thereafter, lung tissues from 44 seropositive voles were analyzed for hantavirus RNA by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Partial L-, M- and S-segment sequences, detected in M. rutilus and M. rufocanus, were closely related to HOKV, differing from previously published L-, M- and S-segment sequences of HOKV by 17.8-20.2%, 15.9-23.4% and 15.0-17.0% at the nucleotide level and 2.6-7.9%, 1.3-6.3% and 1.2-4.0% at the amino acid level, respectively. Alignment and comparison of hantavirus sequences from M. glareolus trapped in Tyumen Oblast showed very high sequence similarity to the Omsk lineage of PUUV. Phylogenetic analysis, using neighbor-joining, maximal likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that HOKV strains shared a common ancestry with PUUV and exhibited geographic-specific clustering. This report provides the first molecular evidence that both M. rutilus and M. rufocanus harbor HOKV, which might represent a genetic variant of PUUV.
Project description:The genome of Muju virus (MUJV), identified originally in the royal vole (Myodes regulus) in Korea, was fully sequenced to ascertain its genetic and phylogenetic relationship with Puumala virus (PUUV), harbored by the bank vole (My. glareolus), and a PUUV-like virus, named Hokkaido virus (HOKV), in the grey red-backed vole (My. rufocanus) in Japan. Whole genome sequence analysis of the 6544-nucleotide large (L), 3652-nucleotide medium (M) and 1831-nucleotide small (S) segments of MUJV, as well as the amino acid sequences of their gene products, indicated that MUJV strains from different capture sites might represent genetic variants of PUUV, the prototype arvicolid rodent-borne hantavirus in Europe. Distinct geographic-specific clustering of MUJV was found in different provinces in Korea, and phylogenetic analyses revealed that MUJV and HOKV share a common ancestry with PUUV. A better understanding of the taxonomic classification and pathogenic potential of MUJV must await its isolation in cell culture.
Project description:Microevolution of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) was studied throughout a population cycle of its host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). We monitored PUUV variants circulating in the host population in Central Finland over a five-year period that included two peak-phases and two population declines. Of 1369 bank voles examined, 360 (26.3%) were found infected with PUUV. Partial sequences of each of the three genome segments were recovered (approx. 12% of PUUV genome) from 356 bank voles. Analyses of these sequences disclosed the following features of PUUV evolution: 1) nucleotide substitutions are mostly silent and deduced amino acid changes are mainly conservative, suggesting stabilizing selection at the protein level; 2) the three genome segments accumulate mutations at a different rate; 3) some of the circulating PUUV variants are frequently observed while others are transient; 4) frequently occurring PUUV variants are composed of the most abundant segment genotypes (copious) and new transient variants are continually generated; 5) reassortment of PUUV genome segments occurs regularly and follows a specific pattern of segments association; 6) prevalence of reassortant variants oscillates with season and is higher in the autumn than in the spring; and 7) reassortants are transient, i.e., they are not competitively superior to their parental variants. Collectively, these observations support a quasi-neutral mode of PUUV microevolution with a steady generation of transient variants, including reassortants, and preservation of a few preferred genotypes.
Project description:Many viruses significantly impact human and animal health. Understanding the population dynamics of these viruses and their hosts can provide important insights for epidemiology and virus evolution. Puumala virus (PUUV) is a European hantavirus that may cause regional outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in humans. Here, we analyzed the spatiotemporal dynamics of PUUV circulating in local populations of its rodent reservoir host, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) during eight years. Phylogenetic and population genetic analyses of all three genome segments of PUUV showed strong geographical structuring at a very local scale. There was a high temporal turnover of virus strains in the local bank vole populations, but several virus strains persisted through multiple years. Phylodynamic analyses showed no significant changes in the local effective population sizes of PUUV, although vole numbers and virus prevalence fluctuated widely. Microsatellite data demonstrated also a temporally persisting subdivision between local vole populations, but these groups did not correspond to the subdivision in the virus strains. We conclude that restricted transmission between vole populations and genetic drift play important roles in shaping the genetic structure and temporal dynamics of PUUV in its natural host which has several implications for zoonotic risks of the human population.
Project description:Natural reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens generally seem to be capable of tolerating infections. Tolerance and its underlying mechanisms remain difficult to assess using experiments or wildlife surveys. High-throughput sequencing technologies give the opportunity to investigate the genetic bases of tolerance, and the variability of its mechanisms in natural populations. In particular, population genomics may provide preliminary insights into the genes shaping tolerance and potentially influencing epidemiological dynamics. Here, we addressed these questions in the bank vole Myodes glareolus, the specific asymptomatic reservoir host of Puumala hantavirus (PUUV), which causes nephropathia epidemica (NE) in humans. Despite the continuous spatial distribution of M. glareolus in Sweden, NE is endemic to the northern part of the country. Northern bank vole populations in Sweden might exhibit tolerance strategies as a result of coadaptation with PUUV. This may favor the circulation and maintenance of PUUV and lead to high spatial risk of NE in northern Sweden. We performed a genome-scan study to detect signatures of selection potentially correlated with spatial variations in tolerance to PUUV. We analyzed six bank vole populations from Sweden, sampled from northern NE-endemic to southern NE-free areas. We combined candidate gene analyses (Tlr4, Tlr7, and Mx2 genes) and high-throughput sequencing of restriction site-associated DNA (RAD) markers. Outlier loci showed high levels of genetic differentiation and significant associations with environmental data including variations in the regional number of NE human cases. Among the 108 outliers that matched to mouse protein-coding genes, 14 corresponded to immune-related genes. The main biological pathways found to be significantly enriched corresponded to immune processes and responses to hantavirus, including the regulation of cytokine productions, TLR cascades, and IL-7, VEGF, and JAK-STAT signaling. In the future, genome-scan replicates and functional experimentations should enable to assess the role of these biological pathways in M. glareolus tolerance to PUUV.
Project description:Hantavirus genome sequences were recovered from tissue samples of Myodes rufocanus, Microtus fortis and Microtus oeconomus captured in the Baikal area of Buryatia, Russian Federation. Genetic analysis of S- and M-segment sequences of Buryatian hantavirus strains showed that Myodes-associated strains belong to Hokkaido virus (HOKV) type while Microtus-associated strains belong to Vladivostok virus (VLAV) type. On phylogenetic trees Buryatian HOKV strains were clustered together with M. rufocanus- originated strains from Japan, China and Far-East Russia (Primorsky region). Buryatian Microtus- originated strains shared a common recent ancestor with M. fortis- originated VLAV strain from Far-East Russia (Vladivostok area). Our data (i) confirm that M. rufocanus carries a hantavirus which is similar to but distinct from both Puumala virus carried by M. glareolus and Muju virus associated with M. regulus, (ii) confirm that M. fortis is the natural host for VLAV, and (iii) suggest M. oeconomus as an alternative host for VLAV.
Project description:The bank vole (Myodes glareolus) is a common small mammal in Europe and a natural host for several important emerging zoonotic viruses, e.g. Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) that causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Hantaviruses are known to interfere with several signaling pathways in infected human cells, and HFRS is considered an immune-mediated disease. There is no in vitro-model available for infectious experiments in bank vole cells, nor tools for analyses of bank vole immune activation and responses. Consequently, it is not known if there are any differences in the regulation of virus induced responses in humans compared to natural hosts during infection. We here present an in vitro-model for studies of bank vole borne viruses and their interactions with natural host cell innate immune responses. Bank vole embryonic fibroblasts (VEFs) were isolated and shown to be susceptible for PUUV-infection, including a wild-type PUUV strain (only passaged in bank voles). The significance of VEFs as a model system for bank vole associated viruses was further established by infection studies showing that these cells are also susceptible to tick borne encephalitis, cowpox and Ljungan virus. The genes encoding bank vole IFN-β and Mx2 were partially sequenced and protocols for semi-quantitative RT-PCR were developed. Interestingly, PUUV did not induce an increased IFN-β or Mx2 mRNA expression. Corresponding infections with CPXV and LV induced IFN-β but not Mx2, while TBEV induced both IFN-β and Mx2. In conclusion, VEFs together with protocols developed for detection of bank vole innate immune activation provide valuable tools for future studies of how PUUV and other zoonotic viruses affect cells derived from bank voles compared to human cells. Notably, wild-type PUUV which has been difficult to cultivate in vitro readily infected VEFs, suggesting that embryonic fibroblasts from natural hosts might be valuable for isolation of wild-type hantaviruses.
Project description:Acute-phase sera from >5 % of cases of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome occurring annually in Korea have been found to exhibit a fourfold or higher antibody titre to Puumala virus (PUUV) than to Hantaan virus (HTNV) by double-sandwich IgM ELISA, suggesting the existence of a PUUV-related hantavirus. Based on the phylogenetic relationships among arvicolid rodents, the royal vole (Myodes regulus) was targeted as a likely reservoir host of hantavirus. Using RT-PCR, a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Muju virus (MUJV), was detected in lung tissue of royal voles, captured in widely separated geographical regions in Korea during 1996-2007. Pairwise analysis of the full-length S (1857 nt) and M (3634 nt) segments of MUJV indicated approximately 77 % sequence similarity with PUUV. At the amino acid level, MUJV differed from PUUV by 5.5-6.9 % (nucleocapsid) and 10.0-11.6 % (Gn and Gc envelope glycoproteins). Interstrain variation of MUJV sequences from royal voles captured in different regions suggested geographic-specific clustering. Neutralizing antibody titres against PUUV were two- to sixfold higher than to HTNV in sera of MUJV-infected Myodes regulus. Although virus isolation attempts were unsuccessful, the collective data indicate that MUJV is a distinct hantavirus species.
Project description:Intensive management of Fennoscandian forests has led to a mosaic of woodlands in different stages of maturity. The main rodent host of the zoonotic Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) is the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), a species that can be found in all woodlands and especially mature forests. We investigated the influence of forest age structure on PUUV infection dynamics in bank voles. Over four years, we trapped small mammals twice a year in a forest network of different succession stages in Northern Finland. Our study sites represented four forest age classes from young (4 to 30 years) to mature (over 100 years) forests. We show that PUUV-infected bank voles occurred commonly in all forest age classes, but peaked in mature forests. The probability of an individual bank vole to be PUUV infected was positively related to concurrent host population density. However, when population density was controlled for, a relatively higher infection rate was observed in voles trapped in younger forests. Furthermore, we found evidence of a "dilution effect" in that the infection probability was negatively associated with the simultaneous density of other small mammals during the breeding season. Our results suggest that younger forests created by intensive management can reduce hantaviral load in the environment, but PUUV is common in woodlands of all ages. As such, the Fennoscandian forest landscape represents a significant reservoir and source of hantaviral infection in humans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Introgression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is among the most frequently described cases of reticulate evolution. The tendency of mtDNA to cross interspecific barriers is somewhat counter-intuitive considering the key function of enzymes that it encodes in the oxidative-phosphorylation process, which could give rise to hybrid dysfunction. How mtDNA reticulation affects the evolution of metabolic functions is, however, uncertain. Here we investigated how morpho-physiological traits vary in natural populations of a common rodent (the bank vole, Myodes glareolus) and whether this variation could be associated with mtDNA introgression. First, we confirmed that M. glareolus harbour mtDNA introgressed from M. rutilus by analyzing mtDNA (cytochrome b, 954 bp) and nuclear DNA (four markers; 2333 bp in total) sequence variation and reconstructing loci phylogenies among six natural populations in Finland. We then studied geographic variation in body size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) among the populations of M. glareolus and tested its relationship with mtDNA type. RESULTS:Myodes glareolus and its arctic neighbour, M. rutilus, are reciprocally monophyletic at the analyzed nuclear DNA loci. In contrast, the two northernmost populations of M. glareolus have a fixed mitotype that is shared with M. rutilus, likely due to introgressive hybridization. The analyses of phenotypic traits revealed that the body mass and whole-body, but not mass corrected, BMR are significantly reduced in M. glareolus females from northern Finland that also have the introgressed mitotype. Restricting the analysis to the single population where the mitotypes coexist, the association of mtDNA type with whole-body BMR remained but those with mass corrected BMR and body mass did not. Mitochondrial sequence variation in the introgressed haplotypes is compatible with demographic growth of the populations, but may also be a result of positive selection. CONCLUSION:Our results show that the phenotypic traits vary markedly along the north-south axis of populations of M. glareolus. This variation may be related to adaptation to local environments and coincides with the gradient of genome reticulation between M. glareolus and M. rutilus, which was assessed by mtDNA introgression. Introgression of mtDNA may have affected morpho-physiological traits but do not show strong effects on either body mass or basal metabolic rate alone. We discuss the causes and biological meaning of our results and the means to clarify these questions in future research.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni can be isolated from different animal hosts. Various studies have used multilocus sequence typing to look for associations between particular clones of C. jejuni and specific hosts. Here, we describe the isolation of a novel clone (sequence type 3704 [ST-3704]) of C. jejuni associated with the bank vole (Myodes glareolus).