Isolation and initial characterization of a newfound hantavirus from California.

Abstract

A fatal case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in northern California prompted our attempt to isolate viruses from local rodents. From tissues of two deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, two hantaviruses (Convict Creek virus 107 and 74, CC107 and CC74) were established in cell culture. Viral antigens, proteins, and RNAs of the first and archetypical isolate (CC107) were examined, and portions of the medium (M) and small (S) genome segments of both isolates were sequenced. Antigenically, CC107 virus and the second isolate, CC74 virus, were more closely related to Puumala virus than Hantaan (HTN) virus, though distinct from both. Northern blots of viral RNAs showed the large and M segments of CC107 to be the same size as those of HTN virus, whereas the S segment was larger. Protein gels did not reveal CC107 to have a substantially larger nucleocapsid protein than HTN virus. Partial nucleotide sequence comparisons of CC107 and CC74 viruses revealed their M segments to be highly similar to one another, while their S segments differed by more than 10%. Nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence comparisons showed the California isolates to be closely related to the newfound hantaviruses first detected in the Four Corners area and since incriminated in HPS through wide areas of the United States.

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