Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Newfound insights into the host range, geographic distribution and genetic diversity of hantaviruses gained from natural history collections of shrews, moles and bats (#360)

Se Hun Gu 1 , Satori Arai 2 , Hae Ji Kang 1 , Joseph A Cook 3 , Blaise Kadjo 4 , Burton K Lim 5 , Janusz Markowski 6 , Janusz Hedjuk 6 , Marcos Minarro 7 , Carlos Feliu 8 , Jean-Pierre Hugot 9 , Satoshi D Ohdachi 10 , Richard Yanagihara 1
  1. University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America
  2. National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan
  3. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America
  4. Université de Cocody, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  5. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
  6. University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland
  7. Servicio Regional de Investigacion y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (SERIDA), Villaviciosa, Spain
  8. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  9. Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
  10. Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Rodents (order Rodentia) were initially believed to serve as the exclusive reservoir hosts of hantaviruses. Moreover, the conventional view contended that each genetically distinct hantavirus was hosted by a single rodent species, with which it co-evolved. Recently, however, a new frontier in hantavirology has dawned with the discovery of highly divergent lineages of hantaviruses in multiple species of shrews and moles (order Eulipotyphla) and bats (order Chiroptera) from widely separated geographic regions in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Close collaborations with museum curators and field mammalogists have accelerated the acquisition of new knowledge about the spatial and temporal dynamics of 23 shrew-, 7 mole- and 11 bat-borne hantaviruses. Also, particularly in light of the expanded host range and genetic diversity of hantaviruses, mounting evidence supports the concepts of extensive host sharing and host switching. That is, the same hantavirus species may be harbored by more than one reservoir host species. The converse is also true; that is, the same reservoir host species can harbor more than one hantavirus species. Phylogeographic analysis indicates that shrew- and mole-borne hantaviruses exhibit geographic-specific lineages, akin to that reported for rodent-borne hantaviruses. Also, based on the geographic origin of the newfound non-rodent-borne hantaviruses, primordial hantaviruses probably originated in Asia, rather than Africa or the Americas. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses suggest that ancestral shrews and moles and/or bats may have predated rodents as the early reservoir hosts of primordial hantaviruses. Thus, the phylogeography and evolutionary history of hantaviruses are far more complex than originally imagined.