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Boginia virus, a newfound hantavirus harbored by the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in Poland

Se Hun Gu1, Janusz Markowski2, Hae Ji Kang1, Janusz Hejduk2, Beata Sikorska3, Paweł P Liberski3 and Richard Yanagihara1*

Author Affiliations

1 Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 651 Ilalo Street, BSB320L, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, USA

2 Department of Teacher Training and Biodiversity Studies, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

3 Department of Molecular Pathology and Neuropathology, Medical University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:160  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-160

Published: 22 May 2013



Guided by decades-old reports of hantaviral antigens in the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens) in European Russia, we employed RT-PCR to analyze lung tissues of soricine shrews, captured in Boginia, Huta Dłutowska and Kurowice in central Poland during September 2010, 2011 and 2012.


In addition to Seewis virus (SWSV), which had been previously found in Eurasian common shrews elsewhere in Europe, a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Boginia virus (BOGV), was detected in Eurasian water shrews captured in each of the three villages. Phylogenetic analysis, using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that BOGV formed a separate lineage distantly related to SWSV.


Although the pathogenic potential of BOGV and other recently identified shrew-borne hantaviruses is still unknown, clinicians should be vigilant for unusual febrile diseases and clinical syndromes occurring among individuals reporting exposures to shrews.

Hantavirus; Neomys; Sorex; Shrew; Phylogeny; Poland