Caister Academic Press

Genetics and evolution of hantaviruses

Tarja Sironen and Alexander Plyusnin
from: Bunyaviridae: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: Alexander Plyusnin and Richard M. Elliott). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Hantaviruses are globally important human pathogens. They are emerging viruses, and both the number of different hantavirus species discovered, and the amount of human infections are increasing. The hantaviral sequence data set is rapidly growing, and several fully sequenced genomes have been reported. Until recently, rodents have been regarded as the main reservoir and evolutionary scene of hantaviruses. These viruses have indeed proven to be an excellent model to study virus evolution and co-evolution of a virus with its host. During the last couple of years, however, majority of novel hantaviruses have been discovered from insectivore hosts instead of rodents, thus challenging some of the earlier views on hantavirus evolution. In the following paragraphs we summarize the current knowledge on the genome organization, genetic diversity, and evolution of hantaviruses from the major groups associated with Cricetidae and Muridae rodents and Soricomorph insectivores read more ...
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