Hantavirus surveillance and genetic diversity targeting small mammals at Camp Humphreys, a US military installation and new expansion site, Republic of Korea.
ABSTRACT: Small mammal surveillance was conducted (2008-2010, 2012) at Camp (Cp) Humphreys, a US Army installation and new expansion site, Republic of Korea (ROK), to identify hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome health threats to US military/civilian populations during its ongoing expansion phase. Small mammals were collected using Sherman live capture traps and transported to Korea University where they were euthanized, tissues removed, and assayed to determine hantavirus IgG antibody-positive and hantavirus-positive rates by RT-PCR. A total of 2,364 small mammals were captured over 11,300 trap nights (capture rate = 20.92%). Apodemus agrarius was the most commonly collected (76.65%), with capture rates of 9.62% and 21.70% for Cp Humphreys and the expansion site, respectively. Overall, Hantaan virus (HTNV) IgG antibody-positive (Ab+) rate for A. agrarius was 2.15% (39/1,812). A total of 5.43% (10/184) Crocidura lasiura, 0.79% (2/254) Microtus fortis and 2.44% (1/41) Micromys minutus were serologically IgG Ab+ for hantaviruses. HTNV-specific RT-PCR demonstrated that 28.2% (11/39) HTNV Ab+ A. agrarius harbored the 328-nt sequence of the GC glycoprotein-encoding M segment of HTNV. Among them, the whole genome sequences of 3 HTNV strains were obtained by conventional RT-PCR and Rapid Amplification cDNA Ends PCR. Phylogenetic analyses of the HTNV strains from Cp Humphreys and the expansion site, Pyeongtaek, show a greater diversity of rodent-borne hantaviruses compared to HTNV previously identified in Gyeonggi province of the ROK. Thus, this study provides significant insights for raising HFRS threat awareness, analysis, and risk reduction strategies in southern Gyeonggi province.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hantaan virus (HTNV), a negative sense tripartite RNA virus of the Family Bunyaviridae, is the most prevalent hantavirus in the Republic of Korea (ROK). It is the causative agent of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) in humans and maintained in the striped field mouse, Apodemus agrarius, the primary zoonotic host. Clinical HFRS cases have been reported commonly in HFRS-endemic areas of Gyeonggi province. Recently, the death of a member of the ROK military from Gangwon province due to HFRS prompted an investigation of the epidemiology and distribution of hantaviruses in Gangwon and Gyeonggi provinces that border the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To elucidate the geographic distribution and molecular diversity of HTNV, whole genome sequences of HTNV Large (L), Medium (M), and Small (S) segments were acquired from lung tissues of A. agrarius captured from 2003-2014. Consistent with the clinical incidence of HFRS established by the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC), the prevalence of HTNV in naturally infected mice in Gangwon province was lower than for Gyeonggi province. Whole genomic sequences of 34 HTNV strains were identified and a phylogenetic analysis showed geographic diversity of the virus in the limited areas. Reassortment analysis first suggested an occurrence of genetic exchange of HTNV genomes in nature, ROK. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:This study is the first report to demonstrate the molecular prevalence of HTNV in Gangwon province. Whole genome sequencing of HTNV showed well-supported geographic lineages and the molecular diversity in the northern region of ROK due to a natural reassortment of HTNV genomes. These observations contribute to a better understanding of the genetic diversity and molecular evolution of hantaviruses. Also, the full-length of HTNV tripartite genomes will provide a database for phylogeographic analysis of spatial and temporal outbreaks of hantavirus infection.
Project description:Rodent-borne disease surveillance was conducted at Nightmare Range (NM-R), near the demilitarized zone in northeast Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea, to identify hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) risks for a mountainous high-elevation (500 m) military training site. Monthly surveys were conducted from January 2008-December 2009. A total of 1,720 small mammals were captured belonging to the Orders Rodentia [Families, Sciuridae (1 species) and Muridae (7 species)] and Soricomorpha [Family, Soricidae (1species)]. Apodemus agrarius, the primary reservoir for Hantaan virus (HTNV), accounted for 89.9% (1,546) of all small mammals captured, followed by Myodes regulus (4.0%), Crocidura lasiura (3.9%), Micromys minutus (1.4%), Mus musculus (0.3%), Microtus fortis (0.2%), Apodemus peninsulae (0.2%), Tamias sibiricus (0.1%), and Rattus norvegicus (<0.1%). Three species were antibody-positive (Ab+) for hantaviruses: A. agrarius (8.2%), M. minutus (4.2%), and C. lasiura (1.5%). HTNV specific RNA was detected in 93/127 Ab+ A. agrarius, while Imjin virus specific RNA was detected in 1/1 Ab+ C. lasiura. Overall, hantavirus Ab+ rates for A. agrarius increased with weight (age) and were significantly higher among males (10.9%) than females (5.1%) (P<0.0001). High A. agrarius gravid rates during the fall (August-September) were associated with peak numbers of HFRS cases in Korea that followed high gravid rates. From 79 RT-PCR positive A. agrarius, 12 HTNV RNA samples were sequenced and compared phylogenetically based on a 320 nt sequence from the GC glycoprotein-encoding M segment. These results demonstrate that the HTNV isolates from NM-R are distinctly separated from HTNV isolated from the People's Republic of China. These studies provide for improved disease risk assessments that identify military activities, rodent HTNV rates, and other factors associated with the transmission of hantaviruses during field training exercises.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hantaan orthohantavirus (Hantaan virus, HTNV), harbored by Apodemus agrarius (the striped field mouse), causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in humans. Viral genome-based surveillance at new expansion sites to identify HFRS risks plays a critical role in tracking the infection source of orthohantavirus outbreak. In the Republic of Korea (ROK), most studies demonstrated the serological prevalence and genetic diversity of orthohantaviruses collected from HFRS patients or rodents in Gyeonggi Province. Gangwon Province is a HFRS-endemic area with a high incidence of patients and prevalence of infected rodents, ROK. However, the continued epidemiology and surveillance of orthohantavirus remain to be investigated.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Whole-genome sequencing of HTNV was accomplished in small mammals collected in Gangwon Province during 2015-2018 by multiplex PCR-based next-generation sequencing. To elucidate the geographic distribution and molecular diversity of viruses, we conducted phylogenetic analyses of HTNV tripartite genomes. We inferred the hybrid zone using cline analysis to estimate the geographic contact between two different HTNV lineages in the ROK. The graph incompatibility based reassortment finder performed reassortment analysis. A total of 12 HTNV genome sequences were completely obtained from A. agrarius newly collected in Gangwon Province. The phylogenetic and cline analyses demonstrated the genetic diversity and hybrid zone of HTNV in the ROK. Genetic exchange analysis suggested the possibility of reassortments in Cheorwon-gun, a highly HFRS-endemic area.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The prevalence and distribution of HTNV in HFRS-endemic areas of Gangwon Province enhanced the phylogeographic map for orthohantavirus outbreak monitoring in ROK. This study revealed the hybrid zone reflecting the genetic diversity and evolutionary dynamics of HTNV circulating in Gangwon Province. The results arise awareness of rodent-borne orthohantavirus diseases for physicians in the endemic area of ROK.
Project description:Hantaan virus (HTNV), identified in the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius), belongs to the genus Hantavirus of the family Bunyaviridae and contains tripartite RNA genomes, small (S), medium (M), and large (L) segments. HTNV is a major causative for hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) with fatality rates ranging from 1% to 15% in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China. Defining of HTNV whole-genome sequences and isolation of the infectious particle play a critical role in the characterization and preventive and therapeutic strategies of hantavirus outbreaks. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) provides an advanced tool for massive genomic sequencing of viruses. However, the isolation of viral infectious particles is a huge obstacle to investigate and develop anti-virals for hantaviruses. Here, we report 12 HTNV isolates from lung tissues of the striped field mouse in the highly HFRS-endemic areas. Sequence-independent, single-primer amplification (SISPA) NGS was attempted to recover the genomic sequences of HTNV isolates. The nucleotide sequence of HTNV S, M, and L segments were covered up to 99.4-100%, 97.5-100%, and 95.6-99.8%, respectively, based on the full length of the prototype HTNV 76-118. The whole-genome sequencing of HTNV isolates was accomplished by additional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification cDNA ends (RACE) PCR. In conclusion, this study will lead to the attempt and usage of SISPA NGS technologies to delineate the whole-genome sequence of hantaviruses, providing a new era of viral genomics for the surveillance, trace, and disease risk management of HFRS incidents.
Project description:Hantavirus is a tripartite negative-sense RNA virus. It can infect humans through contaminated rodent excreta and causes two types of fatal human diseases: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). China exhibits the highest HFRS occurrence rate in the world, and the Heilongjiang area is one of the most severely infected regions.To obtain additional insights into the genetic characteristics of hantaviruses in the port cities of the Heilongjiang area in China, a molecular epidemiological investigation of hantaviruses isolated from rodents was performed in 2014. A total of 649 rodents (11 murine species and 1 shrew species) were caught in 12 port cities in Heilongjiang. Among these rodents, the most common species was A. agrarius, and the second-most common was R. norvegicus. A viral gene PCR assay revealed the presence of two specific genotypes of hantavirus, referred to as Hantaan virus (HTNV) and Seoul virus (SEOV), and the positive SEOV infection rate was higher than that for HTNV. A genetic analysis based on partial M segment sequences indicated that all of the isolates belonging to SEOV could be assigned to two genetic lineages, whereas the isolate belonging to HTNV could be assigned to only one genetic lineage.These results suggested that HTNV and SEOV are circulating in A. agrarius and R. norvegicus in the port cities in the area of Heilongjiang, but SEOV may be the dominant common hantavirus.
Project description:Hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) are enveloped negative-sense tripartite RNA viruses. The natural hosts of hantaviruses include rodents, shrews, moles, and bats. Imjin virus (MJNV) is a shrew-borne hantavirus identified from the Ussuri white-toothed shrews (Crocidura lasiura) in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China. We have isolated MJNV and determined its prevalence and molecular diversity in Gyeonggi province, ROK. However, the distribution and phylogeography of MJNV in other regions of ROK remain unknown. A total of 96?C. lasiura were captured from Gangwon and Gyeonggi provinces, ROK, during 2011-2014. Among them, four (4.2%) shrews were positive for anti-MJNV IgG and MJNV RNA was detected from nine (9.4%), respectively. Based on the prevalence of MJNV RNA, the preponderance of infected shrews was male and adult, consistent with the gender- and weight-specific prevalence of hantaviruses in other species. We monitored the viral load of MJNV RNA in various tissues of shrews, which would reflect the dynamic infectious status and circulation of MJNV in nature. Our phylogeographic and genomic characterization of MJNV suggested natural occurrences of recombination and reassortment in the virus population. Thus, these findings provide significant insights into the epidemiology, phylogeographic diversity, and dynamic circulation and evolution of shrew-borne hantaviruses.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Orthohantaviruses, causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome, pose a significant public health threat worldwide. Despite the significant mortality and morbidity, effective antiviral therapeutics for orthohantavirus infections are currently unavailable. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of HFRS-associated orthohantaviruses and identify the etiological agent of orthohantavirus outbreaks in southern Republic of Korea (ROK).<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We collected small mammals on Jeju Island during 2018-2020. We detected the Hantaan virus (HTNV)-specific antibodies and RNA using an indirect immunofluorescence assay test and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction on Apodemus agrarius chejuensis (A. chejuensis). The prevalence of anti-HTNV antibodies among rodents was 14.1%. A total of six seropositive mouse harbored HTNV RNA. The amplicon-based next-generation sequencing provided nearly full-length tripartite genomic sequences of six HTNV harbored by A. chejuensis. Phylogenetic and tanglegram analyses were conducted for inferring evolutionary relationships between orthohantaviruses with their reservoir hosts. Phylogenetic analysis showed a novel distinct HTNV genotype. The detected HTNV genomic sequences were phylogenetically related to a viral sequence derived from HFRS patient in southern ROK. Tanglegram analysis demonstrated the segregation of HTNV genotypes corresponding to Apodemus spp. divergence.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Our results suggest that A. chejuensis-borne HTNV may be a potential etiological agent of HFRS in southern ROK. Ancestral HTNV may infect A. chejuensis prior to geological isolation between the Korean peninsula and Jeju Island, supporting the co-evolution of orthohantaviruses and rodents. This study arises awareness among physicians for HFRS outbreaks in southern ROK.
Project description:To gain more insight into the phylogeny of Dabieshan virus (DBSV), carried by Niviventer confucianus and other Murinae-associated hantaviruses, genome sequences of novel variants of DBSV were recovered from Niviventer rats trapped in the mountainous areas of Wenzhou, China. Genetic analyses show that all known genetic variants of DBSV, including the ones identified in this study, are distinct from other Murinae-associated hantaviruses. DBSV variants show geographic clustering and high intraspecies diversity. The data suggest that DBSV is a distinct species in the genus Hantavirus. Interestingly, DBSV shows the highest sequence identity to Hantaan virus (HTNV), with a >7% difference in the sequences of the N, GPC, and L proteins, while N. confucianus is more closely related to Rattus norvegicus (the host of Seoul virus [SEOV]) than to Apodemus agrarius (the host of HTNV and Saaremaa virus [SAAV]). Further genetic analyses of all known Murinae-associated hantaviruses (both established and tentative species) show that many of them, including DBSV, may have originated from host switching. The estimation of evolutionary rates and divergence time supports the role of cross-species transmission in the evolution of Murinae-associated hantaviruses. The detection of positive selection suggests that genetic drift may contribute to the speciation of Murinae-associated hantaviruses and that adaptation has a role as well.
Project description:Hantaviruses cause two human diseases: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Hantaviruses infect human endothelial cells but cause little or no damage to the infected endothelium. We analyzed with Affymetrix DNA Arrays (Santa Clara, CA) the endothelial cell transcriptional responses directed by hantaviruses associated with HPS [New York-1 virus (NY-1V)], HFRS [Hantaan virus (HTNV)], or by a hantavirus not associated with human disease [Prospect Hill virus (PHV)]. Hantavirus infections induced 117 cellular genes and repressed 25 genes by >3-fold, 4 days postinfection (p.i.). Although >80% of cells were infected by each virus 1 day p.i., PHV induced or repressed 67 genes at this early time compared with three genes altered by HTNV or NY-1V. The early high-level induction of 24 IFN-stimulated genes by PHV (4- to 229-fold) represents a fundamental difference in the temporal regulation of cellular responses by pathogenic and nonpathogenic hantaviruses. Because all hantaviruses induced >23 IFN-stimulated genes at late times p.i., pathogenic hantaviruses appear to suppress early cellular IFN responses that are activated by nonpathogenic hantaviruses. At late times p.i., 13 genes were commonly induced by HTNV and NY-1V that were not induced by PHV. In contrast to NY-1V, HTNV uniquely induced a variety of chemokines and cell adhesion molecules (i.e., IL-8, IL-6, GRO-beta, ICAM), as well as two complement cascade-associated factors that may contribute to immune components of HFRS disease. NY-1V failed to induce most cellular chemokines directed by HTNV (3/14) or genes primarily activated by NF-kappaB. However, NY-1V uniquely induced beta3 integrin-linked potassium channels, which could play a role in HPS-associated vascular permeability. These studies provide a basic understanding of hantavirus-directed cellular responses that are likely to differentiate pathogenic and nonpathogenic hantaviruses, contribute to HFRS and HPS pathogenesis, and provide insight into disease mechanisms and potential therapeutic interventions.
Project description:Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases caused by RNA viruses pose a critical public health threat. Next generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful technology to define genomic sequences of the viruses. Of particular interest is the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to perform phylogeographic analysis, that allows the detection and tracking of the emergence of viral infections. Hantaviruses, Bunyaviridae, cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. We propose to use WGS for the phylogeographic analysis of human hantavirus infections. A novel multiplex PCR-based NGS was developed to gather whole genome sequences of Hantaan virus (HTNV) from HFRS patients and rodent hosts in endemic areas. The obtained genomes were described for the spatial and temporal links between cases and their sources. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated geographic clustering of HTNV strains from clinical specimens with the HTNV strains circulating in rodents, suggesting the most likely site and time of infection. Recombination analysis demonstrated a genome organization compatible with recombination of the HTNV S segment. The multiplex PCR-based NGS is useful and robust to acquire viral genomic sequences and may provide important ways to define the phylogeographical association and molecular evolution of hantaviruses.