Muju virus, a novel hantavirus harboured by the arvicolid rodent Myodes regulus in Korea

Ki-Joon Song, Luck Ju Baek, Sungsil Moon, Si Jung Ha, Sang Hyun Kim, Kwang Sook Park, Terry A. Klein, William Sames, Heung Chul Kim, John S. Lee, Richard Yanagihara, Jin Won Song

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Acute-phase sera from >5% of cases of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome occurring annually in Korea have been found to exhibit a fourfold or higher antibody titre to Puumala virus (PUUV) than to Hantaan virus (HTNV) by double-sandwich IgM ELISA, suggesting the existence of a PUUV-related hantavirus. Based on the phylogenetic relationships among arvicolid rodents, the royal vole (Myodes regulus) was targeted as a likely reservoir host of hantavirus. Using RT-PCR, a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Muju virus (MUJV), was detected in lung tissue of royal voles, captured in widely separated geographical regions in Korea during 1996-2007. Pairwise analysis of the full-length S (1857 nt) and M (3634 nt) segments of MUJV indicated approximately 77% sequence similarity with PUUV. At the amino acid level, MUJV differed from PUUV by 5.5-6.9% (nucleocapsid) and 10.0-11.6% (Gn and Gc envelope glycoproteins). Interstrain variation of MUJV sequences from royal voles captured in different regions suggested geographic-specific clustering. Neutralizing antibody titres against PUUV were two- to sixfold higher than to HTNV in sera of MUJV-infected Myodes regulus. Although virus isolation attempts were unsuccessful, the collective data indicate that MUJV is a distinct hantavirus species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3121-3129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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