International team of biologists studies Siberian hantaviruses


A research team of scientists from Russia, Japan, and the USA has published an article on relationships of Siberian hantaviruses and new host species. The data suggests the existence of a new virus located in Eastern Siberia – LENV. The collective paper “Geographic Distribution and Phylogeny of Soricine Shrew-Borne Seewis Virus and Altai Virus in Russia” was published in Viruses (Q1) by MDPI (USA).

“Hantaviruses are found in rodents all over the world. They are especially dangerous to humans because they can cause hemorrhagic fever,” explains Alexander Zhigalin, a scientist from TSU Biological Institute and one of the authors. “The work we’ve done with our colleagues was on the understudied SWSV (Seewis hantavirus) and ALTV (Altai hantavirus) in shrews of the Asian part of Russia.”

The samples for the study were gathered in the Republic of Altai, the Tomsk region, and the Republic of Yakutia. This enabled scientists to determine the exact geographic distribution of ALTV, described based on the findings from Teletskoe Lake. This species was registered for the first time since it was discovered in the Tomsk region, where shrews have a high infection rate with the hantaviruses studied.

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