New Shrew-borne Hantavirus22 May 2013
The discovery of a genetically distinct hantavirus, designated Boginia virus, harbored by the Eurasian water shrew (Neomys fodiens), is featured as an “Editor’s Picks” on the homepage of Virology Journal, an open-access, on-line journal. This short report has achieved “highly accessed” status, posting more than 1,200 hits since publication. Boginia virus represents only the second shrew-borne hantavirus reported to date in Europe. The first, Seewis virus, also originally detected by Richard Yanagihara and colleagues and now known to be widespread throughout the geographic range of its soricid reservoir host, was also found to co-circulate with Boginia virus in Poland. The high prevalence of Boginia virus in the Eurasian water shrew suggests a long-standing host-virus relationship. Efforts are now underway to isolate Boginia virus and to ascertain its importance to human health.