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Viruses 2013, 5(12), 3071-3087; doi:10.3390/v5123071

Phylogeographic Diversity of Pathogenic and Non-Pathogenic Hantaviruses in Slovenia

1 Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Zaloška 4, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia 2 Slovenian Museum of Natural History, Prešernova 20, Ljubljana 1000, Slovenia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 28 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantaviruses)
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Slovenia is a very diverse country from a natural geography point of view, with many different habitats within a relatively small area, in addition to major geological and climatic differences. It is therefore not surprising that several small mammal species have been confirmed to harbour hantaviruses: A. flavicollis (Dobrava virus), A. agrarius (Dobrava virus–Kurkino), M. glareolus (Puumala virus), S. areanus (Seewis virus),M. agrestis, M. arvalis and M. subterraneus (Tula virus). Three of the viruses, namely the Dobrava, Dobrava–Kurkino and Puumala viruses, cause disease in humans, with significant differences in the severity of symptoms. Due to changes in haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome cases (HFRS) epidemiology, a detailed study on phylogenetic diversity and molecular epidemiology of pathogenic and non-pathogenic hantaviruses circulating in ecologically diverse endemic regions was performed. The study presents one of the largest collections of hantavirus L, M and S sequences obtained from hosts and patients within a single country. Several genetic lineages were determined for each hantavirus species, with higher diversity among non-pathogenic compared to pathogenic viruses. For pathogenic hantaviruses, a significant geographic clustering of human- and rodent-derived sequences was confirmed. Several geographic and ecological factors were recognized as influencing and limiting the formation of endemic areas.
Keywords: hantavirus; Slovenia; epidemiology; genetic diversity; phylogeography hantavirus; Slovenia; epidemiology; genetic diversity; phylogeography
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Korva, M.; Knap, N.; Rus, K.R.; Fajs, L.; Grubelnik, G.; Bremec, M.; Knapič, T.; Trilar, T.; Županc, T.A. Phylogeographic Diversity of Pathogenic and Non-Pathogenic Hantaviruses in Slovenia. Viruses 2013, 5, 3071-3087.

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