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Open AccessArticle

Complex History of Codiversification and Host Switching of a Newfound Soricid-Borne Orthohantavirus in North America

Department of Biology and Museum of Southwestern Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Department of Pediatrics, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Department of Biology, University of Portland, Portland, OR 97203, USA
Department of Biology and Museum of Vertebrate Biology, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207-0751, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(7), 637;
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hantaviruses)
PDF [2823 KB, uploaded 11 July 2019]


Orthohantaviruses are tightly linked to the ecology and evolutionary history of their mammalian hosts. We hypothesized that in regions with dramatic climate shifts throughout the Quaternary, orthohantavirus diversity and evolution are shaped by dynamic host responses to environmental change through processes such as host isolation, host switching, and reassortment. Jemez Springs virus (JMSV), an orthohantavirus harbored by the dusky shrew (Sorex monticola) and five close relatives distributed widely in western North America, was used to test this hypothesis. Total RNAs, extracted from liver or lung tissue from 164 shrews collected from western North America during 1983–2007, were analyzed for orthohantavirus RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Phylogenies inferred from the L-, M-, and S-segment sequences of 30 JMSV strains were compared with host mitochondrial cytochrome b. Viral clades largely corresponded to host clades, which were primarily structured by geography and were consistent with hypothesized post-glacial expansion. Despite an overall congruence between host and viral gene phylogenies at deeper scales, phylogenetic signals were recovered that also suggested a complex pattern of host switching and at least one reassortment event in the evolutionary history of JMSV. A fundamental understanding of how orthohantaviruses respond to periods of host population expansion, contraction, and secondary host contact is the key to establishing a framework for both more comprehensive understanding of orthohantavirus evolutionary dynamics and broader insights into host–pathogen systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: hantaviridae; orthohantavirus; hantavirus; shrew; viral evolution; codiversification hantaviridae; orthohantavirus; hantavirus; shrew; viral evolution; codiversification

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Liphardt, S.W.; Kang, H.J.; Dizney, L.J.; Ruedas, L.A.; Cook, J.A.; Yanagihara, R. Complex History of Codiversification and Host Switching of a Newfound Soricid-Borne Orthohantavirus in North America. Viruses 2019, 11, 637.

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