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Open Access Short report

Phylogenetic exploration of hantaviruses in paraguay reveals reassortment and host switching in South America

Yong-Kyu Chu1, Robert D Owen24 and Colleen B Jonsson13*

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Predictive Medicine for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Louisville, KY 40222 USA

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 74909-3131 USA

3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville, KY, 40222 USA

4 Martín Barrios 2230 c/Pizarro, Barrio Republicano, Asunción, Paraguay

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:399  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-399

Published: 12 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Longitudinal mark-recapture studies of rodents in two sites in the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve in the Interior Atlantic Forest of eastern Paraguay have revealed a complex and intriguing pattern of hantaviruses harbored by rodents in this area. Full-length sequencing and phylogenetic analyses were conducted for several rodents from Akodon montensis and Oligoryzomys fornesi. The phylogenetic relationships of these viruses were analyzed in the context of hantaviruses in South America with published S- and M-segment sequences.

Findings

Phylogenetic analyses of hantaviruses identified in the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve in Paraguay revealed Jabora and Juquitiba viruses are harbored by Akodon montensis and Oligoryzomys fornesi, respectively. These analyses revealed that in general the constituents of the major subclade for the S- and M-segments differ for the South American hantaviruses. Further, the two major groups within subclade C for the M-segment reflect in general the lethality associated with the viruses within each group.

Conclusions

Phylogenetic studies of Jabora and Juquitiba viruses and other Paraguayan viruses in the context of American hantaviruses revealed reassortment and host-switching in the evolution of South American hantaviruses.

Keywords:
Hantavirus; reassortment; host switching; zoonotic pathogens; ecology; emerging pathogens; phylogenetics; Akodon, Oligoryzomys