A novel genotype of hantaan orthohantavirus harbored by apodemus agrarius chejuensis as a potential etiologic agent of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Republic of Korea

Kyungmin Park, Won Keun Kim, Seung Ho Lee, Jongwoo Kim, Jingyeong Lee, Seungchan Cho, Geum Young Lee, Jin Sun Noid, Keun Hwa Lee, Jin Won Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background 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). Methodology/Principal findings 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 correspond-ing to Apodemus spp. divergence. Conclusions/Significance 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 orthohan-taviruses and rodents. This study arises awareness among physicians for HFRS outbreaks in southern ROK.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009400
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A novel genotype of hantaan orthohantavirus harbored by apodemus agrarius chejuensis as a potential etiologic agent of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Republic of Korea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this