Orthohantaviruses are negative-stranded RNA viruses with trisegmented genomes that can cause severe disease in humans and are carried by several host reservoirs throughout the world. Old World orthohantaviruses are primarily located throughout Europe and Asia, causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, and New World orthohantaviruses are found in North, Central, and South America, causing hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS). In the United States, Sin Nombre orthohantavirus (SNV) is the primary cause of HCPS with a fatality rate of ~36%. The primary SNV host reservoir is thought to be the North American deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus
. However, it has been shown that other species of Peromyscus
can carry different orthohantaviruses. Few studies have systemically surveyed which orthohantaviruses may exist in wild-caught rodents or monitored spillover events into additional rodent reservoirs. A method for the rapid detection of orthohantaviruses is needed to screen large collections of rodent samples. Here, we report a pan-orthohantavirus, two-step reverse-transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) tool designed to detect both Old and New World pathogenic orthohantavirus sequences of the S segment of the genome and validated them using plasmids and authentic viruses. We then performed a screening of wild-caught rodents and identified orthohantaviruses in lung tissue, and we confirmed the findings by Sanger sequencing. Furthermore, we identified new rodent reservoirs that have not been previously reported as orthohantavirus carriers. This novel tool can be used for the efficient and rapid detection of various orthohantaviruses, while uncovering potential new orthohantaviruses and host reservoirs that may otherwise go undetected.
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